In this challenge, students develop appreciation for the merits of different cultural practices as they prepare a poster or PowerPoint presentation on unique features of an assigned community's lifestyle. Assign students to work in small groups to focus on the daily practices in one of the four profiled communities in India, Tunisia, Peru or Ukraine. Suggest that students review what they know about the ways in which people live in their assigned community. Invite students to look for customs that are different from what might be generally practised in Canada, but that have merit given the local circumstances. You may need to suggest ideas for students to consider. For example, many people in India bathe by sitting on a stool and using a bucket to pour water over their head. This is highly efficient in conserving water, does not require expensive equipment, is easy to transport and can be done outside in the warm air (they wear a small wrap for privacy).
Encourage each group to select up to three practices from their assigned community that meet the following criteria:
- are aspects of the community's way of life
- are different from practices that are widespread in Canada
- are worthwhile or helpful for the local people.
Ask each group to explain its reasoning for selecting the three practices. You may want to adapt the strategies and chart for Justifying My Choice (Support Material) to structure and assess this part of the activity.
Next, invite students to help others in the class appreciate the merits of these practices. Students may produce a poster or an electronic presentation using a computer software program. Assist students in developing criteria for an effective presentation (e.g., well organized, interesting to the audience, show the positive features of the practices) and in identifying techniques that might be used in their presentation. Invite students to examine samples of various posters, looking for techniques that meet the identified criteria (e.g., audience interest is often achieved by including colourful images, presenting only the most important ideas, finding ideas that the audience may not already know). You may want to adapt the strategies and chart for Looking for Techniques (Support Material) to structure this activity. Once students have identified techniques suitable for their format, they can develop their presentation. Encourage students to check periodically that their presentation addresses the identified criteria. Provide an opportunity for groups to present their work to the rest of the class. In debriefing the activity, help students to appreciate that there are different ways in which people enjoy quality of life.