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Posts Tagged ‘CultureGrams’

Favorite Tweets from Educators

As editors for ProQuest’s Guided Research products, we are super thankful for the educators who post on Twitter displaying how they are using Guided Research products in their classrooms and school libraries! Thank you so much for sharing and providing us feedback so our educational tools can help students experience better research, better learning and better insights.

Here are some recent highlights. Keep sharing!

 

 

 

 

 


ProQuest Guided Research products equip students to learn information literacy skills. Research made easy! Free trials are available.

Teaching Activity: Designing Olympic Medals

PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Medals

PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Medals [via Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service / accessed through Wikimedia Commons]

Did you know that the design of the Olympic medals changes with each Olympics? The designs are meant to showcase the culture and traditions of the host country. For example, the design for the front of this year’s PyeongChang medals has the Olympic rings set on a background that is meant to look like the texture of tree trunks, symbolizing history and determination. The side and back of the medals incorporate the Korean alphabet, and the ribbons are made of a traditional Korean fabric known as gapsa.[1]

Help your students get excited about the PyeongChang Olympics with the following teaching activity from CultureGrams. This activity will help students think critically about what goes into choosing the design of Olympic medals. Though the activity is geared for grades 6-8, it can easily be adjusted to suit any grade level. You can also find additional teaching activities about the Olympics on CultureGrams.

Designing Olympic Medals

Grade level

6–8

 Objective

Students will design an Olympic medal based on what they learn about the culture of a country.

 Common Core State Standards Initiative

Anchor Standards for Reading: ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.

  • Literacy in History/Social Studies (Grades 6–8): ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.

Anchor Standards for Reading: ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.

  • Literacy in History/Social Studies (Grades 6–8): ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Anchor Standards for Reading: ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

  • Literacy in History/Social Studies (Grades 6–8): ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.

Anchor Standards for Reading: ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.

  • Literacy in History/Social Studies (Grades 6–8): ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.8 Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.

Anchor Standards for Reading: ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.

Time requirement

Preparation: 15 minutes

In-class: 60 minutes

Materials

CultureGrams World Edition

Art materials—construction paper, scissors, glue, pens, etc.

Instructions

  1. Ask each student to choose a country and read its CultureGrams report. Students should make note of things that set the country apart and that citizens of the country would be especially proud of.
  2. Explain to the students that the design of the Olympic medals combines the history of the Olympic Games with the culture of the host country. Each host country designs the medal that hundreds of athletes will compete for that year. Have students look at the design and background information for medals from some past Winter or Summer Olympic Games. Hold a class discussion about which elements of culture the designs incorporate and why.
  3. Ask students to design an Olympic medal for the country they researched. They must incorporate aspects of the country’s culture as well as images from ancient Greek culture and the history of the Olympic Games. You may wish to determine the format (paper, poster, digital design, etc.) or leave it open to the students.
  4. In small groups or in front of the class, have students explain why they chose to include each element of their medal.

Extension activity

Each country that hosts the Olympics designs a logo for the games. The logo may feature a symbol of the country or it may simply try to capture the excitement of the games. While each country adds their own elements to the logo, almost all logos incorporate the Olympic rings, one of the most recognizable symbols of the games. Have the students research past Olympic logos on the Internet and choose the one they think reflects the best blend of Olympic history and the host country’s culture, according to that country’s CultureGrams report. Students should be prepared to defend their choices with specific details.

Visit CultureGrams to find more teaching activities!

  1. “PyeongChang 2018 Medals.” International Olympic Committee, www.olympic.org/pyeongchang-2018-medals.

CultureGrams Has National Geographic Photos!

CultureGrams is pleased to announce that we now include a selection of National Geographic photos in our photo galleries. These photos provide new perspectives on the countries and cultures of the world via some of the most talented photographers in the business. National Geographic, which is the official publication of the National Geographic Society, began as a scholarly journal when the first issue was published in 1888. But starting in the first decade of the 20th century, with the inclusion of full-page photographs for the first time, the magazine evolved to become a publication much more focused on visual content. And now National Geographic is widely recognized for its stunning photography of people and places around the world. So we are thrilled to include these images in our product. We started out by adding photos to about two dozen country collections in 2017, but we’ll be adding more photos each year. Check them out!

 

Japan Photo Gallery via CultureGrams

Ainu Woman via CultureGrams Photo Gallery

 

 

Recognizing the Contributions of Women

Women in The Gambia (via ProQuest CultureGrams)

Coming up in March will be National Women’s History Month, and on March 8, International Women’s Day. During this time, we pay special tribute to the contributions of women around the world, both past and present, and we commemorate the struggle for women’s rights. In preparation to celebrate National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day in 2018, one of the resources you might consider using in your classrooms as you look ahead to March is CultureGrams. CultureGrams offers a wealth of information to help illuminate the contributions and daily lives of ordinary women across the globe. Frankly, there is no reason why you have to wait until March to access this content.  You can use it now.

Of course, you can find good information about women in the CultureGrams country reports themselves, though coverage may vary somewhat from country to country and from category to category. But some of the categories where you might typically find information specifically about women include History, General Attitudes, Personal Appearance, Family, Dating and Marriage, Life Cycle, Recreation, The Arts, Holidays, Government, and Education.

Gender Roles via CultureGrams Mexico Report

Another place to look is in our Photo Gallery. While you could go through our photos country by country or region by region to look for photos of women, a more efficient way might be to do a search of the gallery using the word “women.” If you wanted to further narrow your search, you could include additional words such as “work,” eating,” “games,” “art,” “government,” etc. Not all searches will be fruitful and not all results relevant, but many will be. And using those results, you could create a fascinating slideshow or presentation. You may also find relevant content about women in the slideshow and video areas, though those are not currently searchable.

Photos via CultureGrams Gallery

We also include the perspectives and experiences of women in our collection of Interviews. We’ve included dozens of interviews of women and young girls. You can find out about what a woman’s typical day is like in particular countries, what her role is in her family, how confident she is to make an adequate living, what she worries about, and what aspirations she has for the future. The interviews can reveal a lot about the contributions of women on a day-to-day basis.

Interviews via CultureGrams

CultureGrams also includes brief biographies of women in Famous People. With these bios, you can learn about the accomplishments of some of these women to their countries and cultures.

CultureGrams might not be what would have come first to mind when thinking about celebrating National Women’s History Month or International Women’s Day, but it’s a resource that has a lot to offer.

 

CultureGrams: Faces of the World Interviews

Gabon Interview via ProQuest CultureGrams

Our Faces of the World Interviews are one of the most popular features in CultureGrams. Users enjoy learning about how ordinary individuals–both adults and children–within a particular country see the world, what they do each day, what they worry about, what matters to them, etc. The interviews provide an intimate glimpse into what daily life is like for these people. Occasionally, however, users have questions about some of the content in the interviews. So we would like to clarify our editorial policy as it relates to the Faces of the World Interviews.

  1. The interviews represent the views of native inhabitants of various countries around the world. They are a reflection of how those individuals see their lives and the countries and cultures they live in. We don’t edit the interviews for content unless there is something that is incomprehensible or unless they say something that would be inappropriate for our users. As much as possible, we try to preserve the original voice and thoughts of the interviewees, only editing for clarity’s sake, as needed.
  2. Although our collection of interviews is growing, the total number is still relatively small (400+), so we make no claims that the small number of interviews we offer per country are necessarily representative of majority views within a particular country. These people speak for themselves. We expect that there will be greater variety as we add more interviews, but there is no way that a small number of interviews can adequately represent the whole or capture the diversity of opinion and experience within an entire country.
  3. In a few rare instances, users have suggested that some of the opinions represented in the interviews are overly negative. However,  as noted above, the goal of these interviews is to have real people tell us what their daily lives are like and what matters to them. It is their opinions that count when it comes to the interviews, not ours. Also, our goal with CultureGrams more broadly isn’t about promoting any particular country.  Instead, we aim to capture some of the diversity of human experience and to do so honestly. And we attempt to present this information as fairly and objectively as we can.

All Saints’ Day & All Souls’ Day

These teenagers in Belgium are celebrating the upcoming All Saints’ Day with improvised ghost costumes. [via CultureGrams Photo Gallery]

These teenagers in Belgium are celebrating the upcoming All Saints’ Day with improvised ghost costumes. [via CultureGrams Photo Gallery]

While most people are familiar with Halloween, not as many are familiar with the holidays that fall on the following two days: All Saints’ Day (1 November) and All Souls’ Day (2 November). All Saints’ Eve (Halloween), All Saints’ Day, and All Souls’ Day are traditionally Christian holidays and together are known as Allhallowtide. They are celebrated in countries around the world.

All Saints’ Day, like its name implies, is a holiday that honors all Christian saints. It is a national holiday in many predominantly Catholic countries. All Souls’ Day commemorates loved ones who have passed away. The distinction between All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day tends to be fluid, since both revolve around remembering the dead, and celebrations of both holidays can include visits to cemeteries.

CultureGrams is a great resource for learning about holidays around the world. Each World and Kids edition report has a Holidays section that discusses major holidays in each country. Here are a few examples of what students can learn from CultureGrams about how different countries celebrate All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day:

Austria
“All Saints’ Day, called Allerheiligen, […] is a time for remembering the dead and visiting graves. Many families decorate the graves of their relatives. Some people attend public services for victims of the two World Wars.”

Chile
“All Saints’ Day is an important traditional holiday. On this day, people across the country make a point of visiting cemeteries, where they pay homage to their deceased loved ones and leave flowers on their graves. Families may travel long distances to spend the first and second days of November in their towns of origin, visiting relatives and going to local cemeteries in a group.”

Guatemala
“On 1 November, Guatemalans celebrate Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead, or All Saints’ Day). It is believed that the spirits of the dead are allowed to visit the living on this night. Celebrations combine traditional beliefs with Catholic traditions. Families cook special meals, visit cemeteries, clean family members’ graves, and decorate the graves with flowers. In Santiago, people build and fly large kites with messages for the dead written on both the kites themselves and on the tails.”

Ecuador
“On All Souls’ Day […] people visit cemeteries, eat bread-dough dolls, and drink colada morada (a thick drink made with berries, sweet spices, and purple flour).”

Don’t have CultureGrams? Request a free trial.

CultureGrams — New Kids Country: Palau

The CultureGrams editors are excited to announce a new Kids edition country report!

Flag of Palau, via CultureGrams

The new Palau report includes detailed information on the history, culture, language, food, and daily life of this country.

Here are some interesting Did You Knows about Palau:

  • Palau includes around 250 islands, but only about 10 of them are inhabited.
  • Palau does not have a military force of its own. The United States is responsible for its defense under an agreement between the two countries.
  • Bachel are stone disks or beads with a hole carved in the middle. They were traditionally used as a form of money in Palau and are now passed between families for important events, such as funerals, weddings, or births.
  • Palau gained its independence in 1994.

Read about life as a kid in Palau, holiday celebrations, and typical meals, all in this colorful new report.

What are you celebrating today?

Christopher Columbus photo via Wikimedia, indigenous Guatemalan girls photo via CultureGrams.

 

Today, or on a day soon to come this month, countries throughout the Western hemisphere will mark some aspect of the European encounter with the Americas. Which aspect they choose to celebrate depends on their perspective. And in fact some cities within the same country (namely the U.S.) will be celebrating under different titles.

In many Latin American countries, this October holiday is called Día de la Raza (Day of the Race) in an effort to highlight the indigenous cultures Columbus encountered when he arrived in the Americas. However, some indigenous groups, such as those in Chile, find nothing to celebrate on this day and instead call it Día de la Resistencia Indígena, or Indigenous Resistance Day.

Within the United States, the federal holiday is called Columbus Day, a title that, according to the New York Times, has been controversial from the start. Formally made a recurring holiday in 1934, Columbus Day began as a celebration more significant to Italian-Americans than the general population, and Italian-American groups today still advocate for the holiday to be called Columbus Day. As the figure of Columbus broadened to represent general European settlement of the Americas, resistance to the holiday deepened. As one Christian Science Monitor article (available via SIRS) put it, “For many native Americans, Columbus is a symbol of European colonialism, enabling widespread destruction of indigenous cultures and its people and paving the way for rampant oppression and forced relocation.” In response, many states with high native populations stopped celebrating Columbus Day and some cities and states added “Indigenous People’s Day” to the holiday name or changed the name entirely. Today only 25 states in all observe the holiday.

However, shifting the celebration from Columbus to the people he and other Europeans colonized is not itself without controversy. Last month an opinion piece (available via eLibrary) in The Weekly Standard argued that “up until fairly recently the European discovery of the Americas was regarded as a milestone in Western civilization . . .” The author also likened Columbus Day to other U.S. holidays that are outdated but “represent the great American habits of adaptation and historical amnesia.”

So what is the holiday called where you live today? Or is it considered a holiday at all? And do you agree with that status or name? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. In the meantime, check out more Columbus Day/Día de la Raza/Indigenous People’s Day articles and information in CultureGrams, SIRS, and eLibrary!

Learn More about Hurricane-Stricken Areas

Debris from Hurricane Maria in Dominica

Debris from Hurricane Maria in Dominica [via Wikimedia Commons]

The devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria have been making headlines over the past few weeks. Help your students learn more about the nations, territories, and states hit hardest by these natural disasters with help from CultureGrams.

For instance, a recent poll1 revealed that almost half of Americans were unaware that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, making Hurricane Maria’s destruction in Puerto Rico a domestic disaster. But from the History section of the World Edition Puerto Rico report, students learn that “In 1917, Puerto Rico officially became a U.S. territory, and its people were granted citizenship” and that “Puerto Rico became a commonwealth of the United States with its own constitution in July 1952.”

Each of the CultureGrams reports also discusses topics such as Land and Climate and Population, which—along with the other report sections—can help students learn more about the conditions, demographics, and culture in the areas hit hard by recent hurricanes.

Hurricane-hit areas you may want your students to study include:

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1. Dropp, Kyle, and Brendan Nyhan. “Nearly Half of Americans Don’t Know Puerto Ricans Are Fellow Citizens.” The New York Times, 26 Sept. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/upshot/nearly-half-of-americans-dont-know-people-in-puerto-ricoans-are-fellow-citizens.html.

CultureGrams Provinces Edition Scavenger Hunt

CultureGrams Provinces Edition

And now for the final installment in our series of fun scavenger hunts to help students learn more about the resources available to them in CultureGrams. The first hunt was designed to familiarize users with the World Edition. Then we created a hunt for the Kids Edition and another for the States Edition. Now, last but not least, we have this Provinces Edition scavenger hunt. By working through these twenty questions, either in groups or individually, students will not only learn more about the provinces and territories of Canada, but also about the Provinces Edition of CultureGrams and the variety of content it offers. When students have completed the scavenger hunt, they will be much better prepared to do their own research in CultureGrams, whether to prepare a presentation, create a poster, or write an essay.

CultureGrams Provinces Edition Map

Provinces Edition Scavenger Hunt

*The information in parentheses after each item indicates where the answer can be found.

  1. How many total province and territories are there in Canada? (edition landing page)
  2. What are the three oceans that border Canada? (Canada Political or Physical Map)
  3. What is the name of the northernmost island of Canada? (Canada Physical Map)
  4. What are three ways to navigate to a specific province/territory report from the Provinces Edition landing page? (Provinces Edition landing page)
  5. What is Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump? (Alberta Landing Page)
  6. Quebec is the world’s largest producer of what? (Quebec Resources and Industries)
  7. What is a “potlatch”? (Yukon First Nations)
  8. What unfortunate event happened in the capital of Newfoundland in 1892? (Newfoundland and Labrador Time Line)
  9. Why is salmon farming an environmental issue in British Columbia? (British Colombia Environmental Issues)
  10. After the War of 1812, many immigrants moved to Nova Scotia. Where were most of them from? (Nova Scotia Responsible Government)
  11. Where is “Canada’s Chocolate Town” and how did it get that name? (New Brunswick Cultural Notes)
  12. What are the average seasonal high and low temperatures (Centigrade) in Nunavut in winter? (Nunavut Climate)
  13. What are some key issues facing the government of the Northwest Territories? (Northwest Territories Government)
  14. List a famous baseball, basketball, and hockey team that make Ontario their home (link to Major League Sports Teams from Provinces Edition landing page)
  15. Name three animals found on the provincial coat of arms for Manitoba. (Manitoba Official Emblems)
  16. What is a “saskatoon” that is used to make Saskatoon Pie in Saskatchewan? (Saskatchewan Recipes)
  17. What province/territory has the highest percentage of high school graduates age 15+ (Graphs and Tables)
  18. How far is it from Kensington in Prince Edward Island to Pelly Crossing in Yukon? (Distance Calculator can be accessed from any province/territory landing page)
  19. What is the motto for Prince Edward Island and what does it mean? (Prince Edward Island landing page)
  20. Which province or territory would you most want to visit and why?

To find the correct answers, check in the comments area. And be sure to let us know how the scavenger hunt works for your classes.