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Cultural Mindfulness - Intermediate Mid

Lesson Information

Positive Psychology Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. be exposed to cultures different from their own. 
  2. practice awareness and responsiveness when discussing others’ cultures.

Language Learning Outcomes

Students will...

  1. understand the speaker's point of view. 
  2. adequately supports ideas and opinions with facts, examples, and reasons.
  3. connects content to background knowledge.

Materials Needed

Overview

Connecting mindfully to your own culture and keeping an open and compassionate mindset while learning about other cultures is the focus of this lesson. Understanding your own culture can help create a sense of belonging and well-being. The same is true when we understand more about our friends’ culture on a larger scale.

Activate Background Knowledge

Have students discuss the following questions; 

  • What are the differences between your culture and the culture you live in now? 
  • What do you do differently because you’re in a different culture? 

Activity 1: Listening/Speaking

Have the students watch this video. Before watching, tell them to be respectful of all cultures and to recognize that there are differences even within one culture.

Dining Customs Around the World 

https://youtu.be/OIdYxMyZZm4 

Discuss the following questions with a partner:

  • What surprised you about the different customs?
  • What are some dining customs in your country?
  • How are your dining customs different from the US?

Activity 2: Listening/Speaking 

Have each student find a partner and interview him or her on different aspects of their partner’s culture. Write the answers to the following questions.

  • What language does your country speak?
  • What does your flag look like?
  • What Holidays does your culture celebrate?
  • What other symbols does your culture have? (Animals, plants, etc)
  • What are some other aspects of your culture that are important to you? (music, sports)
  • What is one thing that surprised you about American culture when you first arrived?
  • School? Greetings?

After everyone has interviewed their partner, switch partners and have them tell their new partner about their old partner’s culture using the interview information that they recorded before. 

Activity 3: Listening/Speaking

Have students watch the following video

Looking at the world with other glasses: how to understand cultural misunderstanding

https://youtu.be/WrZityEriI0 

Discuss the following questions with a partner or as a class: 

  • What cultures were in the video?
  • How are their cultures different?
  • Do they have pre-school in your culture? Did you go? 
  • Is school in the United States different from school in your country? 

If time allows, have students watch this video on cultural differences.

Funny, But True: Cultural Differences

https://youtu.be/2xJ_hbD4TQA 

Activity 4: Listening/Speaking 

Greetings From Around the World | Travel Channel

https://youtu.be/nANhSfCGAs4 

Have students watch this video with traditional greeting gestures from different countries. Then have students share with a partner their answers to the following questions.

  • What gestures do you use in your culture? Are there any that you know mean something else in a different culture?
  • Were there any gestures that surprised or confused you when you first got to America?
  • What gestures do you use to greet other people? 

Activity 5: Speaking

Have students find a picture of one food that they feel represents their culture. Have everyone stand up and find a partner. Have them share about the food they chose to their partner, and when they are done switch partners and do it again.

Homework

Have students talk to someone from a different culture and find out something interesting that they didn’t know before. Have them write down what they find to share with classmates on Thursday. 

Follow-Up

Tuesday: 

Discuss the following quote with the students. “The key to community is the acceptance, in fact the celebration of our individual and cultural differences. It is also the key to world peace.”
- M. Scott Pack

  • What does this quote mean? 
  • Do you agree? Why or why not? 

Share thoughts with a partner.

Wednesday: 

Have students find a song they enjoy from their country, from the US, or from any country. Have them play part of their song to a partner, then switch and have them listen to their partner’s song. Have them tell what country their song is from and what type of music it is. Also, have them share why they like that particular style of music.

Thursday: 

Divide students into groups of 3-5. Have students share what they learned about another culture through the homework. 

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