• To help students understand how culture plays an integral role in how we analyze and view the world.
  • To realize how people commonly judge a situation or make daily observations based on what’s acceptable or “normal” in their own culture.


Students will be able to:

  • Identify some U.S. cultural characteristics to use as examples.
  • Understand how these cultural characteristics influence our perceptions of situations and behaviors.
  • Learn to observe and describe before making judgment.


30 minutes


Common Core Standards:

CCSS ELA-LITERACY 9-10.4: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.

AFS Educational Goals:

  • Understand the concepts of “Culture” and intercultural adaptation
  • Cultural knowledge and awareness: To become more aware of their own culture and recognize its influence on their behavior


  • Pass out the What Would You Do? handout and ask each student to fill it out individually.
  • Have them put it aside once completed.
  • Start a class discussion asking questions such as:
    • What is culture? (Write answers on the board)
    • Which of the things identified can be easily seen and which ones are harder to distinguish? (i.e. attitudes, values)
    • Ask for examples of American values (i.e. individualism, success).
    • Ask how these values are demonstrated in American society (i.e. individual seats in a classroom).
    • Point out that value differences often cause differences in behaviors and how one perceives a situation.

Then, hand out the What Would You Do Now? handout and have each student fill out the form individually. Once they are done, put students in 2-3 people groups and have each group discuss how their answers changed from the first exercise.

Have each group summarize the group discussion and then present it to the class.

Debrief the exercise with the results and the goals with the whole class.

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