Cultures of the World


Cultures of the World teaches students about various cultures of the world and helps them learn about and respect other people’s cultures and beliefs. Students will learn related vocabulary in addition to characteristics of various world cultures.

Additional options for this lesson, described in the “Options for Lesson” section of the classroom procedures page, include the opportunity to plan a “World Culture” week with fun food and culture-specific games. Students can also be assigned a culture or country to research and present about during class. Adults who have traveled to different countries can also present about the similarities and differences between cultures that they’ve experienced.

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What our Cultures of the World lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Cultures of the World teaches students about the traditions of societies from different parts of the world. They will learn how to define culture, list aspects of various cultures, and identify many from around the globe. This lesson is for students in the 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the yellow box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. For this activity, the only supplies you will need are the content pages and worksheets. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can pair the students for the activity and copy all of the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. For the activity, students could take their questions home to complete and then meet with their partner the next day. You could also plan an entire “World Culture” week for this lesson during which you serve foods from around the world, play culture-specific games, and have students dress in their culture’s clothing. You can also assign groups of students different cultures or countries to research and later present to the class. Finally, you can invite adults who have lived or traveled outside of the country to come to your class and speak about what that culture was like.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. It reminds you that many students may find the concept of a “culture” confusing. It suggests incorporating cultures in your lesson that are not included in the lesson plan but may be represented by your students. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.



The Cultures of the World lesson plan contains four content pages. The first section of this lesson explains students what a culture is and why having one is important. People within the same culture often have some things in common. Such things include the special events they celebrate, the food they eat, how they live, and what their religion is. Cultures are less about what you can see about a person—such as their hair, eye, or skin color—and more about what you cannot see.

In fact, students will discover that identities are typically based on cultures. In addition to the things listed above, cultures also include the activities someone participates in and the way a family lives day to day. A person’s culture involves the things they value, their beliefs, the language or languages they speak, the clothes they wear, and more!

Different cultures make up communities, which involve your neighborhood or even your town or city. Then communities make up societies, and each society has rules the people must follow. Societies then make up the entire world! You, like almost everyone else in the world, are a part of a family, culture, community, society, and the world itself.

World Cultures—American, African, French

The next section of this lesson plan provides information about many cultures throughout the world. Students will learn that people of different cultures often have more things in common than differences. When you meet someone from a different culture, you have to get to know them to know their culture. Their physical appearance does not always offer much about their culture.

American culture with regards to the US has a lot to do with food. Some of the most iconic American cuisine includes hot dogs, hamburgers, banana splits, pie, and fried chicken. There is also a mix of Spanish and Mexican foods in the Southwest. Celebrations include Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, and Easter. Popular sports are American football, basketball, and—of course—baseball.

In African culture, some common foods are spicy and have very strong flavors! Celebrations in Africa include Kwanzaa, Yam Adae Kese, and Sed. Both samba and reggae music is common to this continent. The country of South Africa is known as the rainbow nation because it has 11 official languages. The artwork in Africa often presents themes of marriage or of mother and child.

Another world culture is that of the French. Foods include heavy sauces and difficult preparation. Their celebrations include Christmas and Easter. They also have a Labor Day, which is on May 1 rather than in September as it is in the United States. If you visit France, you will often find a lot of art in churches, museums, and other public buildings.

Chinese, Spanish, and Other World Cultures

Chinese culture is often recognized for its medicines, foods, and festivals. The primary religion in China is Buddhism. They hold a 15-day festival with a dancing dragon to honor ancient leaders. The festival involves fireworks, parades, and more. Among the six official languages of the country, most people speak Mandarin. In fact, Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world.

Spanish food often includes olive oil, garlic, and onions. People eat bread with nearly every meal, and fruit is the main dessert. About 80% of the population in Spain are Roman Catholics. Holy week (the week before Easter) is a very important week. People participate in large parades and religions events. Have you ever heard of the running of the bulls? Every year, people release bulls into the streets while people run ahead of them into a bullring.

There are so many other world cultures since there are so many other countries. In Greece, a child throws a loose tooth onto a roof for good luck. Father Frost brings Russian children presents on New Year’s Day. Speaking of New Year’s Day, Brazilians celebrate it with a bowl of lentil soup, a sign of wealth. Cultures abound within a single country as well, like subcultures within a larger culture. It’s part of what makes everyone unique!


The Cultures of the World lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


Students will work in pairs to discuss and identify parts of their own cultures. (If you want, they can also work either alone instead.) They will then decided if their answers are the same or different than their partner’s answers. The students will write about what they learned about their partner and answer questions about what to do if two different cultures disagree about something. They will also draw a picture based on what they learned about their own culture. This drawing can include their favorite sports, foods, holidays, or religious images.


For the practice worksheet, students will read 20 statements about culture and decide whether those statements are true (T) or false (F). Fo any of the false statements, they will rewrite them so that they are true.


The homework assignment asks students to match information to the correct culture. There are 15 descriptions and six options in the word bank to use. Students will also use their imaginations to come up with a new culture. They will list things that would be part of their new culture, like foods, clothing, traditions, and more.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. Correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to your students’ work. Given the nature of some prompts, their answers will vary. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade


Social Studies, Video

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.2, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.6, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.6

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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I was so happy to find this ready-to-go lesson that also paired nicely with the video on cultures! Thank you!!

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