Culture Project Ideas for High School | UnifyHighSchool (2023)

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Culture Project Ideas for High School | UnifyHighSchool (1)When cultural diversity is as endangered as today, it is vital high school students are taught about it. You need to implement proper culture projects into your classroom so that your students can learn how varied our world is—and we have just the ideas that you’re looking for.

You could be teaching a multicultural class, or maybe your students share the same cultural identity. Either way, you need to raise their awareness of the many different cultures on our planet. They have to know that cultures shape the behaviors and mentalities of the people who belong in them. Only then can your students be prepared to go out into the world and interact with it both in their personal and professional lives.

Culture Project Ideas for High School | UnifyHighSchool (2)

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What Is Culture Teaching in High Schools?

Traditionally, teaching students about culture was reserved for certain chunks of foreign language classes. Even then, high schoolers would not get far beyond learning what constitutes only the target language’s visible culture, i.e., what people of that nation eat, how they dress, or what films and music they make. Today, the need to incorporate cultural studies into the schools’ curriculum is stronger than ever.

The biggest reason for it is that the students of a particular class belong to various cultures. It’s not only important to acknowledge that diversity between yourself as a teacher and the young people you teach, but also among the students themselves.

The way you can teach culture to your students varies. Before you get into it and start thinking of classroom activities and high school culture project ideas, you need to be the one who is culturally competent so that your students can learn from the example you set.

Before a High School Culture Project…

Culture Project Ideas for High School | UnifyHighSchool (3)Culture Project Ideas for High School | UnifyHighSchool (4)

(Video) The Culture Project | Students Lead Students

Credit: Martin Balle

When scholars attempt to describe or define culture, they usually employ a metaphor of an iceberg. Only a small part of an iceberg is what peeks above water, just like the dress, cuisine, or language are only outward symbols of a person’s culture. The essence of their cultural identity is—much like the bulk of an iceberg—hidden beneath the surface.

You need to understand how cultures shape people if you want to build on diversity in your classroom.

To this end, you might want to examine the following notions:

  • What the extent to which one culture shapes an individual is
  • Whether you possess social and emotional intelligence skills to recognize it in your students
  • Cultural stereotypes you might not be aware you’re harboring

…Get To Know Your Students’ Cultures

Before you can teach your students how to differentiate among many cultures and how they impact people, you need to see those impacts in your students. This particularly holds true if you’re teaching a multicultural class—which in our day and age, you most likely do.

You can start by exploring how the culture of every one of your students determines their values, study motivation, and learning styles.

For example, if some of your students come from a culture that values unobtrusiveness and respect for authority, they might be less willing to raise their hands in your class or ask questions about the topics you’re teaching. It doesn’t mean that they are inapt learners or don’t approach the subject material with a critical mindset. It may be challenging for them to accommodate their behavior according to your cultural practices.

…Hone Your Social and Emotional Intelligence Skills

To recognize specific behaviors in your students and their potential effects, you should work on developing your social and emotional intelligence skills. They are essential tools for any professional to have but are particularly critical for educators.

Since social intelligence and emotional intelligence have many similar characteristics, they are often confused one for another. Here’s a table that shows differences between the two concepts:

Having Social Intelligence Means You:Having Emotional Intelligence Means You:
Understand why your students interact with each other the way they doCan recognize your behavior and what lies beneath it
Know what your students need or want in terms of learning and can give it to themAre aware of your instincts and preferences and how they reflect on your teaching
Can create trust in your classroom and influence desirable outcomes in the way your students respond to activities and learningPossess enough self-awareness and self-management to recognize when you act according to your emotions rather than reason and can mend it quickly

Working on improving your social and emotional intelligence skills can be connected to having better cultural competence in your classroom.

… Recognize the Stereotypes Associated With Different Cultures

When you master social and emotional intelligence skills, you can reinforce interpersonal relationships among your students. This means you can also recognize whether you’re harboring any cultural stereotypes deep within your subconscious—something you need to get rid of for both your and your students’ sake.

(Video) Building a Culture of Kindness With a Day of Service

Stereotypes are tricky because you aren’t always aware you’re perpetuating them. A research article—You’re Asian, how could you fail math?—points out how easy it is even for teachers to look at their students through culturally stereotypical lenses. In this particular case, just because it is believed Asian Americans are naturally gifted learners, the study affirms that that is not always the case. Teachers shouldn’t assume otherwise if they want to look at their students as individuals who might represent the culture they come from but aren’t defined by it.

To be a more culturally responsive teacher, you can test yourself for any undetected biases you might be holding onto. Only then can you teach your students about the complexities of different cultures.

Strategies for Being a More Culturally Competent Teacher

When you assess your knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity and its effects on interpersonal relationships, you can nurture that diversity in your school or classroom.

There are many starting-point ideas you should put into practice, such as:

  • Developing trust between you and your students
  • Getting to know your students’ cultural backgrounds
  • Making different languages visible in your classroom

Student-Teacher Rapport

Establishing close rapport between you and your students is the first task you have as a teacher—and you should never cease working on it. Especially in a culturally diverse class, your students need to rely on and look up to you. This will do much in terms of their sense of belonging. If you learn about your students’ personal lives—their family, their friends, their hobbies—that will win you extra points as a teacher.

Another way to develop trust and boost your students’ study motivation is to include them in the curriculum. Pass some authority to them to decide what they want to do in the next class or practice peer-assessment activities.

Cultural Identities in Your Class

Developing a strong rapport with your students involves encouraging them to share stories of the places they come from. You can set an essay homework assignment so that each student can give an overview of their culture, their experience within it, and their feelings about some of the most common stereotypes about it. This type of first-hand rapport will not only deconstruct prevalent biases, but it will also make your students use and express their voice and practice their writing skills.

Multilingual Classroom

An unavoidable aspect of having a culturally responsive school is including multiple languages in it. Not only should you have multilingual welcome and good-day signs hung on the walls of your classroom, but you can also inspire your multicultural students to look up the subject material you’re teaching written in their native languages.

The Benefits of a Culturally Diverse Curriculum

The last point to consider before you delve into the planning and executing of your culture project ideas is the reason why it’s so important for your students to develop cultural competence.

A culturally diverse curriculum has positive effects on your students because it:

  1. Helps their personal growth and satisfaction
  2. Prepares them for the future of work
  3. Expands their interests

Teaching Culture Stimulates Students’ Personal Growth

When you make sure that all your students are seen and heard, you create an environment where they feel safe. They can participate, make mistakes, explore their interests, and challenge their own viewpoints and those of other people—all critical aspects for their personal growth and satisfaction. Building on that satisfaction makes your students more open to the world in general, which is a trait necessary in any individual who wishes to succeed in today’s world.

(Video) Building a Belonging Classroom

Even if you teach people of one culture, opening their minds to how people of different backgrounds think and behave will, in turn, make them more competent to interact with the world.

Teaching Cultures Prepares Your Students for Professional Lives

Cultural diversity in the workspace has never been more present than it is today. Teaching students that their individual stories and the cultures they come from matter also prepares them for their professional growth.

In a work culture that is constantly changing, your students will surely struggle to choose a career in the first place. By building on a culturally diverse curriculum, you do not only foster student leadership in your classroom, but you also help your students grow into adults who make decisions easily and can relate to and communicate with their future co-workers, regardless of the language gap or ethnic differences.

Teaching Cultures Expands Your Students’ Worldviews

Traveling the world is the fastest way a young individual can broaden their horizons—this can also be true with bringing the world and all its varied cultures into your classroom.

When your students have the opportunity to find out and explore how different parts of the world function, their worldview is bound to expand. Learning about cultural diversity will result in students who are more competent, open-minded, and compassionate individuals. After they leave high school to carve the paths to their futures, they need to be ready to express themselves and bring about positive changes to the world.

Culture Projects for High School Students—Putting It All Into Action

Culture Project Ideas for High School | UnifyHighSchool (5)Culture Project Ideas for High School | UnifyHighSchool (6)

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The practical steps you can take to incorporate cultural diversity into your classes are numerous. Here are some ideas:

  1. Create a multicultural calendar
  2. Have your students write personal essays or journal entries
  3. Print out and examine the pictures of world banknotes
  4. Teach cultural diversity through fairy tales
  5. Explore cultural awareness in the media

Set a Date for Holidays

Holidays are an unavoidable part of teaching cultures. Besides merely focusing on the most popular holidays around the world, you can take your class a step further. Have a project in which you and your students mark a calendar for when these holidays are celebrated.

You can start by letting your multicultural students tag the holidays from their nations, but if you see that the calendar looks too empty, give them homework to research on the national holidays of other cultures around the world and include them in the next class.

Here are some fun holidays celebrated all over the world:

(Video) My Culture Project

The HolidayCelebratedWhy It’s Important
St. Patrick’s DayMarch 17
  • Celebrates the conversion of the Irish people into Christianity
  • Exemplifies the cultural heritage and national identity of Ireland
JuneteenthJune 19
  • Marks the day the last slaves in America found out they were liberated
  • Facilitates racial diversity and Black history teaching
Día de Muertos (The Day of the Dead)November 2
  • Celebrates the dead and the lost in Mexico
  • Includes huge city parades, traditional music, and dressing up in costumes
RamadanEarly May
  • Commemorates the end of the fasting month
  • Connects Muslims all over the world through their religion and spirituality

A Day in My Life

A great way you can introduce your students to the world’s cultures is by having them write an essay on their own or the cultures of the people around them. To make it more interesting and engaging, you can have them write a made-up journal entry as someone belonging to a particular culture.

This will make your students practice a writing strategy they might not be using in their homework often. At the same time, it will make them research how people of different cultures spend their ordinary days and put themselves into their shoes—at least figuratively.

Who’s on Your Banknote?

If you think printing out pictures of different banknotes around the world isn’t cost-effective or environmentally conscious, you can make a presentation of these banknote images. Besides having your students learn about world currencies, they can explore the following:

  1. The life and work of the person on the banknote
  2. Their greatest achievements
  3. The importance the person on the banknote has for their respective culture

You can turn this activity into homework for which the students will have to research the people in the banknotes or prepare presentations themselves. The latter option is especially effective if you have a multicultural class, so your students can talk about the figures in their national banknotes and share their culture with other classmates.

Not Too Old for Fairytales

If you think your high school students have grown out of fairy tales, think again. Folk tales carry the history, language, tradition, and values of the cultures they originate from.

Fairy tales often come in numerous variants because they have been told and retold in different parts of the world throughout history. This is excellent for teaching cultural diversity since it’s an undeniable testament to how varied our planet is in terms of cultures. Plus, your students will have fun getting a new perspective on the story they’ve known since their infancy.

What Does That Article Say Again?

In her article—Multicultural Education—Deborah Menkart suggests an innovative approach to teaching about cultures and social prejudices. You can have your students read or find articles in newspapers or magazines, whether the printed or online versions, and proof them for any ingrained cultural biases.

If you want to execute Menkart’s idea to the fullest, have your students write an appeal to the boards of these media organizations to remedy the cultural errors or misconceptions in the articles they’ve read. What a way to employ an interdisciplinary project into your culture teaching!

Do You Have Your Own Culture Project Ideas To Share?

Reshaping school culture so that it is inclusive and diverse is necessary. Teaching also has to be focused on equity and real-world learning. If you agree and have ideas for culture projects that educators can employ in their classroom, why not write to us?

Let’s work together to bring the much-needed innovations in schools so that our students can have the tools to succeed in the world that has changed to the point that traditional education cannot prepare them for.


What is an example of school culture? ›

Culture Is Core Beliefs and Behaviors

Fundamental beliefs and assumptions, or the things that people at your school consider to be true. For example: “All students have the potential to succeed,” or “Teaching is a team sport.”

How do you teach culture in a fun way? ›

Exploring Cultures in Your Classroom: Fun Activities to Try
  1. Say Hello. I like to begin every morning with a multicultural greeting to my students. ...
  2. Travel around the World. Make daily use of a globe or flat map to help your class realize how big the world is. ...
  3. Indulge in Different Cuisines. ...
  4. Make Diverse Art.

What are examples of cultures? ›

Examples of cultures include western culture, youth culture, counterculture, and high culture. Members of each of these cultures usually share values, pastimes, and languages.

What are 3 major aspects of cultural difference that can affect a project? ›

The following are three major aspects of cultural difference that can affect a project: Communications. Negotiations. Decision making.

What is positive school culture? ›

A positive school climate and climate is one where individuals feel valued, cared for and respected. Such an atmosphere contributes to effective teaching and learning and to genuine communication, both within and outside the school.

What are the 3 levels of school culture? ›

The three levels are surface culture, shallow culture, and deep culture. This is observable such as a person's or community's food, clothes, music, holidays and etc. This has the lowest impact in your classrooms because it has little emotional impact on trust.

What are the cultural activities in school? ›

Cultural Activities in School
  • Local festival celebration.
  • Charity Events.
  • Parades.
  • Sports events.
  • Dance and music competitions.
  • Painting competitions.
  • Debates and speeches.
  • Exhibition and workshop.

What are cultural awareness activities? ›

Here are 10 ideas for things you can do with your students to help make them more culturally aware.
  • Language Learning. Incorporate languages in your class. ...
  • Potluck. ...
  • Multicultural Media. ...
  • Presentations. ...
  • “Who Am I?” Creative Projects. ...
  • Multicultural Decorations. ...
  • Small-Group Conversations. ...
  • Sensitivity vs.

Who am I project for students? ›

Project Who Am I is a self-discovery program that walks young adults through a series of self-reflection exercises, with follow-up group discussions, to guide them toward a career that's fulfilling, empowering and aligns to who they are as a person.

What is culture activity? ›

Cultural activities means sports or activities which contribute to or enhance the aesthetic, artistic, historical, intellectual or social development or appreciation of members of the general public.

What are 10 examples of culture? ›

The following are illustrative examples of traditional culture.
  • Norms. Norms are informal, unwritten rules that govern social behaviors. ...
  • Languages. ...
  • Festivals. ...
  • Rituals & Ceremony. ...
  • Holidays. ...
  • Pastimes. ...
  • Food. ...
  • Architecture.
10 May 2018

What are 7 examples of culture? ›

They are social organization, customs, religion, language, government, economy, and arts.

What are the 7 major elements of culture? ›

  • Social Organization.
  • Language.
  • Customs and Traditions.
  • Religion.
  • Arts and Literature.
  • Forms of Government.
  • Economic Systems.

What type of culture promotes a strong project environment? ›

What type of culture promotes a strong project environment? Organizational culture is a set of shared assumptions, values, and behaviors that an organization follows.

Why is project culture important? ›

Culture is potent. It can block an organization's (or project) strategy or catalyze it. Project leaders who lack cultural awareness can become restricted and handicapped by the values and beliefs of the base organization's culture.

What cultural issues must be considered in project management? ›

The following broad areas should be considered:
  • Individual identity and role within the project versus family of origin and community.
  • Verbal and emotional expressiveness.
  • Relationship expectations.
  • Style of communication.
  • Language.
  • Personal priorities, values, and beliefs.
  • Time orientation.

How do you empower school culture? ›

Below are four foundational ways to create a positive school culture.
  1. Teacher Leadership. Create a teacher leadership program that utilizes the strengths of your staff members for school improvement. ...
  2. Student Opportunities. ...
  3. Professional Learning. ...
  4. Community Engagement.

What is a toxic school culture? ›

Schools with a toxic culture don't have a clear sense of purpose, blame students for poor achievement, and have norms that reinforce inaction. In addition, it discourages collaboration and often has hostile relations among staff.

What are some ideas to improve a school? ›

14 Tips To Improve Schools and Overall Student Performance
  • Technology Usage. ...
  • Teacher Training. ...
  • Cultural Activities. ...
  • Motivational Guests. ...
  • Student Counseling. ...
  • School Maintenance. ...
  • Parent-teacher Communication. ...
  • Activities Outside Classrooms.
27 Jul 2022

What makes a good culture? ›

A good culture is cohesive despite its differences because the people have a shared sense of purpose. They understand, and management makes it clear, not only how their work helps achieve the long-term goals of the company, but also why their work is meaningful.

How can I change my high school culture? ›

Here are the four steps they implemented to positively change school culture:
  1. Step 1 – Changing Perspectives. ...
  2. Step 2 – Changing Expectations. ...
  3. Step 3 – Positive Behavior Intervention. ...
  4. Step 4 – Restorative Discipline.

What is a school culture essay? ›

It is based on patterns of school life experiences and reflects norms, goals, values, relationships, teaching, leadership practices and the structure of the organization. Several studies have concurred that student performance is directly related to school climate.

What are the elements of school culture? ›

A school's culture is made up of the traditions, routines, expectations and interactions that take place. Attending to these factors in a way that reflects the mission and values of the community, in and outside of the classroom, are key to a healthy culture.

How does school culture affect learning? ›

When students know school is a place that is safe and supportive, they do better. They meet curricular benchmarks faster and garner more substance from their learning outcomes. The key to unleashing their potential lies in creating a positive, safe, and healthy school culture.

Why is school culture so important? ›

The Importance of School Culture on Students

In fact, a positive school culture can improve students' ability to learn by creating a positive environment that builds relationships among students and teachers. In schools that have a strong culture, teachers are motivated and engaged when working with students.

What are cultural and social activities? ›

Activities that bring the people together are termed as social activities. Examples of social activities are events, parties, social gatherings etc. What are cultural activities? Cultural activities are the activities that revive the cultural aspects of society. Such as Holi is a cultural activity celebrated in India.

What activities can be done on cultural day? ›

Online Programming
  • Online film screening.
  • Live-streamed concert.
  • Online workshop presented by a local actor.
  • Live-streamed poetry reading.
  • Online storytelling round-table.
  • Virtual dance gathering.

What are examples of arts and culture? ›

Art and cultural expressions can for example be in the form of theatre, literature, painting, sculpture, poetry, music, dance, architecture, story telling, spirituality and rituals.

What are the 4 types of culture? ›

There are four types of corporate culture, consisting of clan culture, hierarchical culture, market culture, and adhocracy culture.

What are the 5 elements of culture? ›

The major elements of culture are symbols, language, norms, values, and artifacts. Language makes effective social interaction possible and influences how people conceive of concepts and objects.

What activities promote diversity? ›

15 Team-Building Activities to Promote Diversity and Inclusion
  • Draw a Diversity Flower.
  • Host a Happy Hour.
  • Plan a Heritage Potluck.
  • Make Sushi Together.
  • Start a Book Club.
  • Try the Privilege Walk.
  • Establish a Gender-Neutral Jar.
  • Volunteer in the Community.
26 Jan 2022

What is an example of cultural awareness? ›

➢Example: People who seamlessly interact with others from different cultures by following the norms of that culture. They feel that they can respect their own values while adapting to the values of other cultures they interact with.

How do you build culture in project management? ›

Let's take a look at four practical ways you can build a strong project management culture.
  1. Pick your project management approach. ...
  2. Pick your project management tool. ...
  3. Measure and report on performance. ...
  4. Get leadership involved.
21 Jul 2021

What cultural issues must be considered in striving for excellence in project management? ›

The following broad areas should be considered:
  • Individual identity and role within the project versus family of origin and community.
  • Verbal and emotional expressiveness.
  • Relationship expectations.
  • Style of communication.
  • Language.
  • Personal priorities, values, and beliefs.
  • Time orientation.

What type of culture promotes a strong project environment? ›

What type of culture promotes a strong project environment? Organizational culture is a set of shared assumptions, values, and behaviors that an organization follows.

What aspects of organizational culture will influence a project? ›

These experiences include the following elements: Vision, mission, values, beliefs and common expectations. Policies, methods and procedures. Incentives and reward systems instituted within a company.

What are the 3 aspects of project culture? ›

Characteristics of Project Culture
  • the priority.
  • the given status.
  • the alignment of official and operational rules.

Why is project culture important? ›

Culture is potent. It can block an organization's (or project) strategy or catalyze it. Project leaders who lack cultural awareness can become restricted and handicapped by the values and beliefs of the base organization's culture.

How cultural differences affect projects? ›

The findings of the study indicate that cultural differences in the organisation is statistically negatively correlated with project performance. In particular, goal-orientation of the employees tends to limit the project performance while flexibility among the team members enhances the project performance.

How does culture influence success? ›

Strong companies with strong cultures have a well-defined and structured mission and vision which aligns with the company's goals and values. This makes decision-making easier for employees, therefore, increasing the chances of success.

How culture influences the moral development of the people? ›

Moral judgments and behaviors are highly sensitive to culture. The understanding and construction of the exact same moral issues can vary substantially across individuals who come from different cultural backgrounds or possess different levels of multicultural experiences.

How can you create and sustain a culture of project Excellence? ›

7 Tips for Creating a Culture of Excellence
  1. Teach others that "not in their job description" should be "not in their vocabulary." Sometimes, employees are asked to do things outside of their normal duties. ...
  2. Save the day now. ...
  3. Maintain a united front. ...
  4. Set (and manage) expectations. ...
  5. Don't just make rules—build character.
20 Oct 2010

Why is team culture important? ›

With a healthy team culture, everyone in your team can be happier, more engaged, and productive in the work that they do. Your working environment is a direct result of the team culture you've created – it touches all aspects of the work you do as a group and can make a workplace successful or unbearable.

What is organizational culture and examples? ›

The organizational culture definition relates to the structure of an organization such as a company or non-profit and the values, sociology, and psychology of that organization. Some examples of organizational culture include philosophy, values, expectations, and experiences.

What is the culture of your organization? ›

An organization's culture defines the proper way to behave within the organization. This culture consists of shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviors and understanding.

How does culture affect management? ›

A company culture can and should tremendously affect the attitudes of managers; management is driven by the culture, which, by definition, directs the behavior of business owners, managers and employees toward a common objective.

What are the three ways that organizational culture impacts project management? ›

5 Ways Your Company Culture Affects Project Management
  • Incentivize employees to increase productivity. ...
  • Ensure accountability and boost collaboration. ...
  • Bringing diversity to the team and the project. ...
  • Define leadership roles and strengthen organization. ...
  • Carrying the project with shared values and passions. ...
  • Final thoughts.
4 Sept 2019


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