American Society and Culture is an optional course at our college, so I usually keep the teaching of the course light. Most days we talk through a PowerPoint presentation together. The PowerPoints for this course contain lots of pictures and graphics for discussion and interest. I also show a huge number of video clips from YouTube to compliment each PowerPoint presentation.
I put these presentations together about two years ago, so a few of the statistics may have changed; however, the enduring cultural information is accurate. These presentations use simple English and often really simplify what can be some very complex topics. As always in culture classes, the teacher should emphasize that each country has many individuals and so we cannot and should not over-generalize; we can just notice trends and traditions practiced by large groups of a population.
Some of the PowerPoints for this course were made to compliment a textbook that we use in class; those portions can be easily edited out, however.
Please feel free to use, edit, and share them as needed.
When teaching about holidays, I try to show videos to compliment all of the major holidays as well as showing some photos I’ve taken during the holidays over the years (eg. dyed Easter eggs, family pictures by the Christmas tree, etc.).
To further supplement the lesson, I sometimes use one or more articles about the holidays. I like to use articles from VOA Student Union, articles that have been written by international students studying in America so my students can hear about the holidays through the eyes of someone else who is not native to American culture. To download those article worksheets, click here: November Holidays Articles. (All 3 articles below are included in this one file.)
To download the PowerPoint presentation for American Holidays, click here: American Holidays