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One World, Many Cultures


Celebrate United Nations Day honoring the organization's more than 60 years supporting peace, development, human rights, and the rule of law for the 7 billion people of different cultures around the globe.

This month's featured resources connect lessons, interactives, and related media to these two key standards:

  • Assess the effect of point of view or author's purpose in reading and writing (ELA CCSS)
  • Human beings create, learn, share, and adapt to culture (NCS-SS: Thematic Strand)


Use the tabs below to locate grade-level appropriate and classroom-ready resources on these two themes.


  • Point of view
  • Many cultures

Point of view

Reading Freedom on the Menu

Smithsonian's History Explorer| Interactive | K-4
   As they read a work of historical fiction that tells the story of the Greensboro sit-ins from the perspective of a young girl, students are challenged to consider the emotions and feelings of the people involved in this key historical event.

Stories of Freedom and Justice: Learning Resources

Smithsonian's History Explorer | Activity/Media | K-12
This set of resources includes video clips, historical theater, and language arts-integrated activities to introduce students of all ages to the civil rights movement and non-violent direct action.

Charting Characters for a More Complete Understanding of the Story

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 3-5
Students chart a story from two characters' points of view to gain a better understanding and appreciation of the story.

Teaching Point of View with Two Bad Ants

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 3-5
Using illustrations and text, students develop an understanding of the point of view of the characters in the story and apply the same strategy to writing a short story of their own.

Story Writing from an Object's Perspective

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 4-7
Students begin by defining the word "perspective" and reviewing a book that provides a model for this type of writing. They then collaborate to write and share short examples of writing from the perspective of an object.

Explore Point of View in Fairy Tales

ReadWriteThink | Activity | 5-8
Students explore fairy tales told in both old and new ways and use an online tool to create their own fractured version of a fairy tale.

Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and the Unreliable Narrator

EDSITEment!| Lesson | 6-8
Students consider the point of view from which a reader views people, events, and details of a story when the author controls the amount and veracity of the information made available through narration.

Analyzing Character Development in Three Short Stories About Women

ReadWriteThink | Unit | 9-12
In this series of lessons, students read stories about women written in different historical periods and compare the development of female characters, the role of women, gender differences and society's expectations as presented by the three authors.

Many cultures

Do You Know a Universal Language?

Wonderopolis | Media/Activity | PreK-5
Students explore ways that people from different cultures can connect and communicate.

How Many Languages Are Spoken At the U.N.?

Wonderopolis | Media/Activity | PreK-5
This Wonder of the Day reviews the six official languages spoken at the U.N. for meetings and official documents and the ways that the United Nations addresses the unique cultural norms of its 193 member nations.

America, A Home for Every Culture

ArtsEdge | Lesson | PreK-5
Students explore and discuss the cultures that have contributed to making the United States the diverse country it is today.

Can You Travel the World Without Leaving Home?

Wonderopolis | Media/Activity | PreK-5
Students consider ways they can explore the cultures of new places without leaving their own communities.

A Puerto Rican Carnival

Smithsonian's History Explorer | Activity | K-4
Students review the traditions of a Puerto Rican carnival with this set of language arts integrated activities.

Foods from Far Away

Smithsonian's History Explorer | Activity | K-4
A field trip to the grocery store can give students a look at how traditional foods from around the world are now part of American culture. In this activity, they use discussion prompts and a worksheet to make the most of their visit.

Global Breakfast

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 3-5
Students look for evidence of global interdependence in the foods they eat.

Tracking the Buffalo: Stories from the Buffalo Hide Painting

Smithsonian's History Explorer | Interactive | 3-5
Through this interactive website students explore the many roles buffaloes played in the lives of native Americans of the Plains.

Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges: Critical Discussion of Social Issues

ReadWriteThink | Lesson | 6-8
Using a series of picture books highlighting social barriers and bridges of race, class, and gender, students use their journal writings to identify the themes in the books and discuss real-world actions that can break barriers in their own world.

Environment, Technology, and Culture of the Chumash People

Science NetLinks| Lesson | 6-8
Students explore the interrelatedness of technology, culture, and environment through a study of the Chumash culture.

The Illusion of Race

Science NetLinks| Lesson | 6-8
This lesson helps students understand the basic genetic traits inherited from our common ancestors.

Endangered Languages

Science NetLinks| Lesson | 6-8
In this lesson students are introduced to the science of linguistics and endangered languages, and discover how culture is intertwined with language.

Cultural Identity of the Lost Boys

National Geographic Education | Media and Resource | 6-12
After viewing a video clip from the documentary film about the Lost Boys of Sudan, students consider the challenges the Lost Boys faced while trying to adapt to life in the United States and still maintain their cultural identities.

Crossing Cultural Borders

National Geographic Education | Collection | 6-12
This collection is designed to empower students to see the world from different perspectives and realize their opportunities and responsibilities as global citizens.

Amazing Adventures

ReadWriteThink | Podcast | 6-12
Host Scott Filkins shares a wide range of diverse adventures as he takes readers from ancient Greece to the streets of Harlem to universes beyond our own.

Saving Aleut

Science NetLinks | Podcast | 6-12
Learn about a project now underway that aims to document a culture before it is lost.

Preserving Endangered Languages Using Digital Resources

Science NetLinks | Tool/Media | 6-12
Learn how some cultures are using technology to help preserve their language.


ArtsEdge | Lesson | 9-12
Students investigate the idea of "monsters" in society and consider what purpose they serve and why they are necessary.

Influencing Cultures

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 9-12
Explore the factors that influence a change in culture among a community or group of people.

Culture and Food and Ritual, Oh My!

National Geographic Education | Activity | 9-12
Students analyze photos of food rituals to compare and contrast celebrations from different cultures and use their research to plan a menu for a ceremony.

Belonging to a Group

Science NetLinks | Lesson | 9-12
Students discuss the basic human need to belong to or choose certain groups and examine some of the stated and unstated purposes of those groups.


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