Friday, September 14, 2012

Intro to Cultures

We started in on the ingredients of culture today.  The bellwork question asked about American culture.  What are some things that make Americans who they are?  What do Americans like to do?  What do they speak, eat, play, wear?  What are some qualities they have, and what do they value?

There were a lot of questions along those lines.  I was impressed with the student responses.  Ultimately, we got the idea that America is extremely diverse - and yet we have a distinct culture that we can identify as "American."

I brought up the point that America is interesting in that anybody can become an American after 5 years.  If they choose citizenship, they will be as American as I am.  As American as my mother and father.  It's not the same as if I went to China, or Eritrea.  I could live there 20 years and not be "as Chinese" or "as Eritrean" as my neighbor.

We started the discussion with food - we'll go through a list of 10 ingredients of culture...  The list is definitely not exhaustive.

We also discussed ethnocentrism - which is the belief that your culture is superior to or better than other cultures.  We discussed it in regard to food, but of course, it goes deeper than that.

If you want the extra credit points for reading and discussing the blog with an adult, here are some questions I'd like you to discuss with them: what does the picture at the top of today's blog mean?  What is the point?  Give an example of something American culture took (or borrowed) from another culture and made it into it's own.

Adults, please remember that by signing the half sheet of paper, you're saying that you really did discuss the blog.  Please don't just sign the paper.  (Even if you only discuss it for 5 minutes.)

In Language Arts you probably learned about the Simple 6.  (If you haven't, you will.)  One of the Simple 6 is "challenging vocabulary."  On a scrap piece of paper, I want you to write down 3 challenging vocabulary words from this post, along with their definitions.  (Yes, you may have to look them up, but hey... you're online right now.  Just google search define:__________________ and the definition should come up.)  When you're done, have the adult you read the blog with sign the paper.

Have a great weekend.

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