Introducing Culture: PowerPoint, Iceberg Activity, and KSL Chart


On the first day of American Society and Culture class– or any culture class– here are some materials that can be adapted and used:

1. PowerPoint Presentation: This presentation contains some general principles for studying culture and is a good way to set base expectations and guidelines for respect and humility as students embark on their exploration of a culture different from their own. To download the PPT, click here: Introduction to Culture

Here are some preview slides from that presentation. Please feel free to edit the presentation to meet your needs:

2. Iceberg Chart: On the first day of class, we discuss the Iceberg principle, how some elements of culture are visible, tangible, and somewhat easily changeable. These parts of culture are above the surface of the water. Other elements of culture are more difficult to change; these are the part of the iceberg that lays below the surface of the water. I give students a worksheet that shows the parts of the iceberg and then put a list of cultural elements on the board. Students need to try to identify which elements fit above the surface and which below. After several minutes, I hand out big pieces of paper with the individual elements on them to different students and they must go to the blackboard to write that element above or below the surface of the water.

The iceberg worksheet can be downloaded from this site: Iceberg Graphic Organizer

Here’s what the iceberg worksheet looks like:

The list of words can be downloaded by clicking here: Iceberg Words

Here’s what the first page of that list looks like:

3. A KSL Chart: This is a great individual or partner activity to fill a flexible amount of time at the conclusion of the first class. Students make 3 lists:

  • K- What they KNOW
  • S- Their SOURCE– where they learned the information
  • L- What they want to LEARN– desired topics for future study

To download that chart, click here: Society & Culture KSL

Here’s a preview of what that chart looks like:


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