Students watch a video segment filmed in a horse stable in Queens, New York City. After determining how culture influences this group of people and their involvement with horses, students write an imaginative story to express their response to this video.
Why is this an important concept?
Learners expand their thinking and their comprehension of texts when they consider how culture influences the characters and plot. For example, cultural influences can help explain a character's motivation or could explain the conflict in a text.
Part I: Learning Activity
1. Review the definition of culture.
- Culture: a way of life shared by members of a society. Culture may be demonstrated through human behavior, vocabulary or language used, human emotions or perspectives, and material items. For example, having turkey on Thanksgiving is a typical behavior of our American culture. Lining up to go to lunch is part of a school's culture. Valuing education is also part of our culture.
2. Generate a list of examples of culture in your school: raising hand to speak, taking tests, working at desks, working with friends on projects, having recess, etc.
3. Describe the purpose of this activity: to identify the culture of the people at the horse stables in New York City. Before playing the first segment, "City Horses, Part 1," ask students to think about how the people at the horse stables benefit from being around horses. On the first viewing, students should only listen and watch. Play the segement.
4. Distribute the Culture of City Horses Graphic Organizer handout. Discuss what each of the categories means. Help students fill in examples from this segment for each of the four sections of the organizer.
5. Before showing the second segment, "City Horses, Part 2," ask students to note details and observations about what the people do at the stable and how they feel about what they do. While viewing, they should complete the Culture of City Horses Graphic Organizer handout.
6. After viewing, allow two minutes for students to share their notes with a partner and add to their notes as needed. Then discuss as a whole class.For students who need additional teacher guidance:
- Review note-taking strategies before watching the segments.
- Provide assistance with taking notes while watching the video by pausing at intervals to allow time for students to take notes.
- Provide opportunities for students to view video additional times.
Part II: Assessment
Students will write a short imaginative story using the notes about vocabulary, behaviors, feelings, and material items involved with city horses. Directions are provided on the City Horses Story handout. Assess the story by using the City Horses Story rubric. Be sure students hand in their Culture of City Horses graphic organizer with their stories so you can see how many items they used in their story from each category.