Cultural Studies – Teacher’s Study Guide

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Cultural Studies – Teacher’s Study Guide

Course Description:

Career Cultural Studies aims at introducing students to countries of various locations around the world. A lack of knowledge around cultures different from their own denies students the opportunity to understand the world in which they live. And while we realize that it is impossible to completely cover every aspect of a country’s history, this course hopes to leave its students with a better understanding of the many different cultures around the world. Helping students acquire the skills, processes, and information necessary to become active, responsible citizens who help maintain the democratic values upon which the nation is established is critical. 

Upon completion of Career Cultural Studies, students will be able to:

  1. Understand how people, places, and environments of the past are connected to the present.

  1. Recognize the democratic foundations, principles, and people that have contributed to world history.

  1. Identify the interdependence among individuals, groups, and nations.

  1. Comprehend patterns of human cultural development and movement through place and time.

  1. Realize the processes by which people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance.

Required Materials:

  1. 2 sharpened #2 pencils with erasers

  2. One notebook

  3. Internet Access for research

  4. Career Cultural Studies Study Guide – Compiled by: Sally Hodges

Course work and Assessments:

  • For each lesson, the student will have a reading assignment and exercises to complete. A total of 246 points are possible for 1st Semester, and a total of 242 points are possible for 2nd Semester.

  • After the student has successfully completed the reading assignments and the exercises, the student will take the Performance Opportunity Quiz (Online). The only lesson that does not contain a quiz is Chapter 1, Lesson 1.

  • After all of the quizzes have been taken for a chapter, the student will take a Chapter Test (Online).

  • There will be 10 Chapter Tests for this course.

  • There will be a midterm exam at the end of the 1st semester and a final exam at the end of the 2nd semester. After all quizzes, chapter tests and midterm/final exams have been completed, an overall average will determine the final grade.

Grading Scale:

93 to 100 %


85 to 92 %


75 to 84 %


70 to 74 %


Below 69 %


The following formula is used in determining a semester grade:

All assessments that are not semester exams (quizzes, tests, unit tests) weighted evenly


Average score for learning exercises in this Study Guide


Semester Final Exam (Midterm or Final)


Keys for successfully completing Career Cultural Studies:

Take your time. Concentrate on understanding one lesson at a time. Make notes on what you are reading to use as a quick reference. Because of space constraints, it will be helpful to write out your answers to the questions from this study guide in a notebook. Make sure you complete the exercises in this study guide and understand the material before taking the quizzes and tests. Test questions will be pulled from both the text and this study guide.

Teachers: When reviewing this workbook, please make sure the answers closely correspond with the answers in this guide. This will aid the student in a successful completion of this course.

Study Guide Outline:

I. What is Culture?

II. Spain

III. France

IV. Australia

V. China

VI. Japan

VII. Egypt

VIII. Greece

IX. Belgium

X. Scotland

Writing Assignment Rubric





Word Choice


Paragraphing is intentional and assists the reader – 3pts.

Sentences build upon one another – 3pts

Ideas are organized in a meaningful way – 3pts

Commas surround parenthetical statements and appositives – 3pts

Language used expresses voice – 3pts

Writing is clear, focused, and stays on track – 5pts







Each paragraph has one main idea – 3pts

The meaning of each sentence is clear – 3pts

Writing reflects logical sequence – 3pts

Commas separate items in a series – 3pts

Descriptive words are used when appropriate – 3pts

Topic is specific and can be summarized in a few sentences – 5pts







Used correct grammar - 3pts

Sentences flow and follow correct grammar – 3pts

Ideas flow and are well connected – 3pts

Commas precede “and” or “but” when introducing an independent clause - -3pts

Strong action verbs are used – 3pts

Topic is easily understood – 3pts







Used correct punctuation – 3pts

No run-on sentences – 3pts

Use of logical connectors(ex: “Therefore, “) – 3pts

A comma follows an introductory word or phrase – 3pts

Synonyms and descriptive verbs are used to add variety – 3pts

Ideas relate to one another – 3pts







Used correct capitalization – 3pts

Sentences are complete – 3pts

Establishes a satisfying conclusion – 3pts

Semi-colons are used to connect two sentences – 3pts

Document shows signs of being proof-read – 3pts







Spelling is correct – 3pts

Writing maintains one tense – 3pts

A period is at the end of every sentence – 3pts

Needless words are not used in the text – 3pts





Handwriting is legible – 3pts


Total points: / 100

Chapter 1: What is Culture?

Lesson 1: What is Culture?


Cultures are systems of behaviors and customs passed from one generation to the next. The rules, language, religion, family systems, recreation, and education that a group of people share provide predictability and safety in their daily lives. When people are bound together by common beliefs and practices, they understand each other and the world around them has meaning. Culture shapes our thoughts and actions.

What are some features of culture? Look at the list below:

housing facial expressions religious beliefs

religious rituals importance of time paintings

literature child-raising beliefs ideas about leadership gestures holiday customs ideas about fairness ideas about friendship ideas about modesty foods eating habits concept of self

styles of dress music value

importance of work concept of beauty general world view

concept of personal space rules of social etiquette

understanding of the natural world

Exercise 1:

Write one sentence or phrase about each topic. Then rate each item from 1-10 (1 is most important) according to what value this topic has in your culture. 11 pts. Answers will vary.


_____ What language(s) do you speak?

_____ What is your religion?

_____ What music do you listen to?

_____ What dances do you know?

_____ What foods do you eat at home?

_____ What do you wear on special occasions?

_____ What holidays and ceremonies are important?

_____ What is most important to you?

_____ What things do you believe are right and wrong?

_____ How important is your extended family?

The name of my culture is ____________________________.

Lesson 2: The Culture of the Caribbean




The Caribbean islands and the Antilles stretch like an arch from The Bahamas close to Venezuelan coasts; they represent the peaks of a big mountainous range that has been in the depths of the sea for millenniums. The Antilles were the first American lands that Christopher Columbus visited on October 12, 1492. The name of the sea derives from the Caribe people that lived in the area when the Spanish explorers arrived in the 15th century. Today, the only genuine Caribe Indians are found in the island of Dominica. The Caribbean is nature itself, history and culture seen in all its spots through its ancient tradition and its peoples’ customs. The influence of the great civilizations that populated these lands can still be seen. Presently, the Caribbean islands are great tourist attractions; marinas and beaches are widely known as part of the natural treasure largely cherished in these lands. Barbados, Aruba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico are just some of the many beautiful islands that are located there.

Barbados, a former British colony, retains enough British traditions to be called "Little England." Antigua, while offering a more laid-back attitude, still observes old British customs. On the other hand, Jamaica retains few of the colonial customs, relies heavily on pre-colonial heritage and is passionately self-sufficient. Jamaica also boasts a successful democracy and maintains a peaceful existence in the Caribbean.

Aruba, once a Dutch possession, only retains slight Dutch influence today. The U.S. Virgin Islands, purchased from the Dutch in 1917, mainly have an American feel with a few lingering elements of Dutch culture. See the influence of the Dutch in the picture of Aruba to the right.

The Dominican Republic is largely underdeveloped except in the capital of Santo Domingo, a city teeming with two million people. It is a sparsely populated, mountainous country whose past is riddled with political turmoil.

In contrast, nearby Puerto Rico is the most modern island in the Caribbean. Spanish and American influences are apparent throughout this island abounding with high-rises and traffic. There are some African influences here, but French customs, culture, and language dominate.

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