Material Type:
Homework/Assignment, Lesson, Lesson Plan
Middle School, High School
  • 9th Grade
  • Cultural Geography
  • Culture
  • Culturegrams
  • Geography
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    Part 1: Travel Guide Video Project

    Part 1: Travel Guide Video Project


    This is the first step in a series of lessons that would ultimately lead to the creation of a travel guide video.  Students will be researching a country's dominant culture using the Utah Online School Libraries' access to CultureGrams.

    Image from Pixabay, accessed 2/18/2022.




    This assignment is the information-gathering phase.  This is the first step in a series of lessons that would ultimately lead to the creation of a travel guide video.


    • 1-2 Class Periods

    • Face to Face instruction (may also be asynchronous)

    World Geography Strand and Standards

    WG Strand 3: CULTURE

    WG Standard 3.1:
    Students will identify and describe the essential defining characteristics and functions of culture.

      WG Standard 3.3:
      Students will identify how culture influences sense of place, point of view and perspective, and the relative value placed upon people and places.

        WG Standard 3.5:
        Students will explain how the basic tenets of world religions affect the daily lives of people.


          Background Information

          In this lesson, students will be exploring the culture of another ethnicity.  Students need to be familiar with the concept of culture traits and that cultures are made up of mentifacts, artifacts, and sociofacts.  


          Wikipedia Link to Culture Traits (check out footnote 4, PDF)

          Utah Online School Library- Worldbook Student article on Culture

          Student Goals and Outcomes

          Students will apply what they know about culture by explaining important cultural characteristics that travelers need to know when traveling to a foreign country.


          Students will create a video for tourists that are planning to travel to a country that includes important information about artifacts, sociofacts, and mentifacts travelers need to be aware of in order to show respect for the culture there.


          1. Start with the included warm-up activity that reviews the key terms and prompts students on today’s activity. 


           While they are working on the warm-up, have them select a country they would like to explore.  If you want to do this the way I usually do it I pass out continents and have the students choose a country on that continent.  This is to allow some choice but to also get students to explore something they may not be familiar with.


          Review the warm-up with the students.


          1. Explain to students that they are beginning the research gathering phase for a Travel Guide video they will be creating in groups of 2-3.  The focus of the Travel Guide is to help your travel groups navigate a foreign country with respect and to make sure they do not offend the locals!

            1. I usually have them do research independently so that they all build background before coming back together for the creation process.


          1. Note on groups: I have students fill out a card with a list of three other students they are willing to work with, then I assign the groups.  This allows them to have some say in the groups but allows me to prevent problems, makes sure no one is the “last man standing”, and also gives students a chance to work with other students.  I recommend requiring them to have a student of a different gender on their card to make things a bit easier on yourself when creating your groups!


          1. Pass out the notes chart to students and explain to them that they will use the chart to take notes on the artifacts, mentifacts, and sociofacts of their country.   Then guide them to CultureGrams and show them how to find information on the CultureGrams site.  Make sure they understand that there are no sections labeled “artifacts”, “mentifacts”, or “sociofacts”, they are going to have to think and research to find information.

            1. I also have a CultureGram access guide for students who need a refresher or who are absent.


          1. While students are working, roam the room and check in with them to see how they are doing.  See where they are struggling and geode them to where they may be able to find information.  Ask questions to help them figure out what more they may need to look for in order to get all the information they need for their travel guide.


          1. When there are only about 10 minutes left, have the students meet with their group mates to see what information they have gathered and what they may still need.  Then have the students fill out the self-assessment exit slip and collect it as they leave.

          Planning and Intruction

          Prior to this lesson students will have to know about cultural traits and have an understanding that culture is all learned aspects of life.  Culture includes more than just food, clothes, and art but extends to everything humans do. 

          This lesson is the beginning of a project that will lead students to create a travel video.  I give students a continent and they choose a country within the continent.  This way I know there is a country from every continent.

          Hints as to what to look for have already been added to each column in the notes section of the chart.  If a student needs more support, help them by guiding them to what section on CultureGrams each type of information can be found, for example, the "General Attitudes" section would be good for helping find Sociofacts.  You can also give them a list of what you want them to find such as "For artifacts, I want you to find the main food they eat, how people dress each day, and what most houses look like."

          The culminating activity for this lesson should be shortened or modified to meet the needs of individual students.  Information can be printed for students who struggle to read computer screens and can be enlarged or read aloud on the computer.  


          For this stage of the project, assessment will mostly be formative.   Monitor students as they take notes to make sure they are going in the right direction and finding what they need.  Have Them complete the exit slip so that they can do a self-assessment and also ask any questions they need clarification on.  I give credit for working on the notes and making progress to help track progress in the gradebook throughout the process.