3rd Grade New York

Cultural Diversity

This inquiry engages third graders in expanding their understandings of diverse cultures. The compelling question “How does our culture make us similar and different?” is intellectually respectful of students who, by their nature, are interested in people and their similarities and differences. It allows for engagement with several social studies disciplines as students examine diverse cultures and histories around the globe.


Compelling Question:

How Does Our Culture Make Us Similar and Different?

Staging the Question:

Discuss the concept of “culture,” by brainstorming responses to the question, “what does culture look like?”

Supporting Question What is culture?

Formative Task List key details from text and illustrations to answer the supporting question.

Sources Source A: “Discovering Culture”


Supporting Question How does history impact cultures around the world today?

Formative Task Identify examples of historical influences on present-day cultures around the world on a three-column chart.

Sources Source A: “China Today—Chinese Culture”
Source B: “Brazil Today—Carnaval! The Celebration of Brazil”
Source C: Excerpts from Exploring Countries: France
Source D: “The Ancient Art of Rangoli”


Supporting Question How are the lives of children similar and different in global communities?

Formative Task Write a paragraph that compares and contrasts aspects of daily life for kids in several world communities.

Sources Source A: Day in the Life

Summative Performance Task

Argument: How does our culture make us similar and different? Construct an argument supported with evidence that addresses the compelling question.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Accomplished through Formative Tasks 1 and 2
Assess: Accomplished through Formative Task 3
Act: Plan for and host a cultural-diversity fair for the other third-grade classes.