Culture Project

Example from Shaker High School Social Studies Department © October 14, 1998

Culture is all of the things that make up a people's way of life. Our culture shapes the way we live, think and act. Culture dictates the foods we eat, the clothing we wear, the way we speak and even the music we listen to. In Global History and Geography 9 and 10, we are going to explore many different cultures throughout the world. For now, please consider your own culture:  How would you describe your culture in words? How would you express your culture visually? Essentially, be sure to explain how each element of culture characterizes your own culture. 

Culture  Essay   (60%)

Thesis Statement

"Culture is reflected in the way people live their lives and can be found in different forms all over the world.The best way to understand what makes culture is to know the elements which shape the characteristics of culture."

Culture Collage Pieces   (40%)

Using clippings from magazines, newspapers, and the Internet, submit collage pieces that gives a visual description of what you consider to be your own culture – be sure to encompass each of the elements of culture

Be as creative as you like, as long as it is appropriate. Be judicious.

Collage pieces should be neat and professional in presentation

Please Note:
When working on your culture collage pieces and developing your culture essay, please remember the following elements of culture:


Factors To Consider

1.  Conflict

Causes and effects; competition; philosophical; physical; international; domestic; resolution; war 

2. Economic Organization

Agriculture/industry; scarcity; needs and wants; resources; exchange – money and trade; poverty and prosperity; ownership and distribution; capitalism, socialism, or communism

3.  Environment

Geography; geology; landforms/bodies of water; weather/climate; natural resources; vegetation; soil; minerals; land use; latitude/elevation; time and space patterns

4.  Modes of Expression

Spoken; written; physical; electronic; communication; music; art; literature; writing; dress; entertainment; education; transportation; travel; migration/diffusion

5.  Politics/Laws

Rules; power/influence; government – monarchy, oligarchy, autocracy, democracy, dictatorship/totalitarianism; constitution; laws; rights; rules and regulations; codes; political parties/elections; citizenship; nationalism/patriotism

6.  Social Organization

Groups; role/status in society; rules; family/clan/tribe; ethnic group; race; social class, age; occupation; level of education; peer and community groups; hierarchies

7.  Technology

Tools; shelter/housing; resource extraction; machinery; production systems; energy use; clothing; science; medicine; electronics; simplicity to complexity; training/skills; industrialization

8.  Values/Religion

Origins – human and divine; superstitions; questions/answers; major belief systems; religion; mythology; theology; customs; traditions; rituals

2008 NYSED