The Birth of the Ancient
Subject: Social Studies /
Time needed: 1 X 45 min.
vary from country to country.
American customs that have been passed down
from generation to generation originated in
countries around the world.
are enriched through exposure to a variety of
that gather at the Olympics represent many cultures
this lesson, students will study unfamiliar
countries and their customs in order to increase
their understanding of people from around the
Students will comprehend
that each country has customs that are understood
and accepted by its people.
Students will study
familiar and unfamiliar customs of other nations.
Students will prepare
a travel guide to help tourists visiting a foreign
Video Segment #1:
The Birth of the Ancient Games. Video
available from Griffin Publishing Group at http://www.griffinpublishing.com/.
(Note: While the video segment is a good
addition to this lesson plan, it is not essential
for successful completion of the activities.)
Outline Map Worksheet : Where Am I?
Student Activity Sheets: Culture Data Sheets
Maps and resource books, as necessary
Project materials (to be decided by students)
After writing the word "customs" on the board,
ask students to think about the ways their families
celebrate the December holiday season. Ask students
to write down five to 10 things that their families
do at that time of year.
student ideas. Ask students to notice that some
family customs are alike while others are quite
why people choose to repeat activities during
special times. What is the purpose of customs?
Where do customs come from?
to interview their parents or grandparents.
They should ask about where their ancestors
came from and about unique family customs or
ones that can trace back to another country.
Students may share the information with the
- Brainstorm possible
interview questions regarding heritage and
customs, such as special recipes, wedding
traditions, favorite family songs or games,
jokes, clothing, and other traditions.
Show Video Segment
#1: The Birth of the Ancient Games, pointing
out that Greek culture has influenced the cultures
of many countries.
Hand out the Outline
Map Worksheet: Where Am I? You may choose
to create a guessing game in which students
identify the names of the countries listed.
Grid games could also be developed.
Hand out the Student
Activity Sheets: Culture Data Sheets.
Create small study groups. These groups will
study each of the sixteen countries or another
country of their choice, focusing on people
and culture, food, dress, occupations, hobbies,
celebrations and holidays, etc. Students should
use at least three resources in their studies.
Students may use encyclopedias, interviews,
magazines, and books.
Students will create
projects that provide useful information about
the country; list and explain at least five
customs of the country; compare and contrast
the customs with those familiar to Americans;
describe ways to adjust as visitors to the country;
and list ways they could help tourists from
other countries feel comfortable in the United
produce a travel guide, brochure, radio or TV
news program, or a display. The purpose of this
presentation is to help tourists by explaining
the country and its culture. Give helpful hints
about the people and how their traditions might
differ from those of Americans.
Evaluate the activity
by writing an essay on the value of customs
and traditions and how they define a people.
Include ways in which people can share in the
rich traditions of world cultures.
Students may develop
their own mythical countries and complete activities
such as designing or creating maps, flags, geographical
features, climates, mythical Olympic heroes,
recreational facilities, and social customs
for these new countries.
| (c) 1996
By Griffin Publishing / United States Olympic
Published by Griffin
Publishing under license from the United States
Olympic Committee. This publication is a creative
work fully protected by all applicable rights.
All rights reserved. A classroom teacher may
reproduce copies of the material in this book
for classroom use only.