6th Grade PBL - Cultural Differences

Jennifer Huntoon, Katie Cox, Irma Hernandez

PBL Artifact Template

1) Driving Question (12.5 points)

What’s the benefit of having different cultures around the world?


6.3.3         Describe and compare major physical characteristics of regions in Europe and the Americas.

Examples:  Mountain ranges, rivers, deserts, etc.

6.3.4         Describe and compare major cultural characteristics of regions in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.

Examples:  Language, religion, recreation, clothing, diet, music/dance, family structure, and traditions

  • Does the DQ warrant in-depth study?
  • Is the DQ an authentic and relevant issue/problem for my students?
  • Is there more than one plausible solution to the DQ?
  • Does the DQ provide opportunities for students to evaluate, analyze, present, and defend their solutions?
  • Include a short introduction to the topic- what do you want students to get out of this activity? What standards are included?

2) Grabber (22.5 points)

Video- Andrew Zimmern interview: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYmBTerCxpA

This Grabber would be used as an Introduction to the topic. Zimmern talks about how food connects people in different cultures.

  • Does the story, article, video, announcement, or role play other resource hook the learner into asking more questions about the topic?
  • Does the grabber capitalize on novelty and / or high emotion situations?
  • Does the grabber establish authenticity & relevance?
  • Make sure to explain how this grabber would be used.

3) Culminating Activity (65 points)

Students will research a different culture in groups and give a presentation about this culture, including a food dish to share with the class and powerpoint with pictures and information. We will assess each student by having them write a reflection based on what they learned from the culture they were assigned to and what made this project important to them.

This type of culmination activity will address the following Literacy in History/ Social Studies standards:

6-8.LH.4.1: Integrate visual information (e.g., charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

6-8.LH.7.1: Conduct short research assignments and tasks to answer a question, drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

  • How is the activity authentic?
  • Does the activity provide students with the opportunity to present and defend problem solution?
  • Does the activity require student collaboration?
  • How will I judge what students have learned from the activity?
  • You will likely need to create a rubric for this step and example materials.


We will be sharing our plans through OER commons so that other teachers can benefit from the excellent ideas that you have developed here.  Only one student per group needs to create an account, but you should work on the following steps together.

  1. Go to OER Commons
  2. Click Register at the top right.
  3. After you register, make sure you verify your email address.
  4. Click on Create at the top right.
  5. Click on Open Author
  6. Write a short introduction at the top (and include any standards you are addressing)
  7. Paste in your Driving Question, Grabber, and Culminating activity.
  8. Complete the fields on the Describe tab.
  9. Submit your work.
  10. Add the link to your OER resource on the Class Materials Page of your Teacher Website.

Driving Question Planning Guide (Dilemma Problem)

Driving Question (DQ)·Does the DQ warrant in-depth study?·Is the DQ an authentic and relevant issue/problem for my students?·Is there more than one plausible solution to the DQ?·Does the DQ provide opportunities for students to evaluate, analyze, present, and defend their solutions? -What is the benefit of having different cultures around the world?-What is culture?-What makes you culturally aware? Overview of Driving QuestionTopic/Content Area: Researching different cultures in the Easterners and Western hemisphere -social studiesTarget Learner:6th gradeDescription of DQ: Having students become more self integrated in their own culture and research other cultures. Rationale for DQ/Relevance to Students:Self aware of their own culture and different cultures around them. Students should also understand the different cultures and knowing everyone has a different background.Potential idea/resource for the Grabber:Andrew Zimmern  interview video

Culminating Activity Planning Guide (Dilemma Problem)

Culminating Activity/ Assessment·How is the activity authentic?·Does the activity provide students with the opportunity to present and defend problem solution?·Does the activity require student collaboration?·How will I judge what students have learned from the activity?Overview of Culminating ActivityDescription of DQ:Students will become culturally aware in their own cultures and in other cultures from the countries in the Eastern and Western Hemisphere including:  Algeria, Burkina Faso, Ghana, France, Mali, Spain, Togo, and the United Kingdom (UK)Culminating Activity Format:
  • Dividing class into groups
  • Assign a culture to each group
  • Having students research on the culture they are assigned to
  • Putting a powerpoint/presentation together
  • Present to the class
  • Write a Reflection paper
Culminating Activity Description:Students will be placed in groups and each group will work on researching a different culture in a different country. There will be five students in each group each with a different role assigned to them. Each student will be assigned to a different aspect of culture. These aspects are clothing, food, religion/language, holidays, and music. Each student’s role will include researching their specific area of culture and putting their research into the group’s powerpoint. They will be responsible for presenting the information they found and doing something interactive as well. The student whose role is food will bring in a food dish from their designated culture, as the student whose role is music will find multiple different types of music to have the class listen to. With clothing, this student will try to create and wear the type of clothing found in their assigned culture, as the student with the holiday role will bring in an activity/example of something that they would do during a specific holiday in their culture. For religion/language, a student would find pictures depicting their culture’s  major religion and videos of people speaking their language. Each group will work collaboratively to make their powerpoint look uniform and professional, going over all the slides and being educated on all aspects of their culture, not only their one area, so they can answer all questions posed by the teacher and the students. Culminating Activity Evaluation Criteria:Students will be assessed by completing a reflection paper. The students will discuss in their paper about the differences within each culture, what they learned from their particular culture and what this activity meant to them. Completing this activity based on the rubric will determine whether or not the students learned from this activity.

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