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Snapshots > Almanacs and Inquiry at School 84


world mapAlmanacs and Inquiry:
Culture Study

The Culture Study project was an unexpected and exciting outcome from having reference books available to children.

The children decided they'd like to create their own map. It began as an outline and Ms. K suggested they could color it. To determine the appropriate colors, they began exploring biomes. Next, they identified countries.

As the students became immersed in their culture study, they thought of more and more things to add to their class map.



almanac videoThe children divided into groups to study biomes including desert, tundra, tropical, grasslands, forests, and deep sea.

Children worked in teams to identify information and add elements to their class map.


video clipView Culture Study: Biomes (:50).

A child describes how the culture study began and their exploration of biomes.


almanac videoEach child choose a country to explore.

They were challenged to dig deep into their country as if they lived there examining the religion, language, government, how many live there, whether they're rich or poor, how population density impacts the country, and what they have in common with other countries.

As they identified information about their country, they discussed what elements might be added to their class map such as symbols for wealth, religion, and other information.


video clipView Culture Study: Countries (1:33).

A child describes student explorations of countries and cultures.

Literature and Global Connections

almanac videoAs students explored biomes and countries, they also began reading literature. They quickly learned that issues often have implications across countries and cultures.

A few of the books children read and connected to the culture study include:


video clipView Culture Study: Literature and Global Connections (1:35).

A child describes literature the class read and the global connections.

Class map
Click the map above to see a larger version.


almanac videoGlobal Issues and Solutions

As students continued their exploration of the biomes, countries, and literature, they identified issues of concern such as poverty, pollution, and inequities.

Children created green word clouds when they thought of issues and yellow word clouds for possible solutions. These were displayed around the outside of their world map.


The Issues

As students explored the almanac resources, they identified global issues.

What are the issues?bubbles

The Solutions

As they explored individual countries and cultures, the student began identifying possible solutions to global issues.

cultureWhat are the solutions?

video clipView Culture Study: Issues and Solutions (:46).

A child describes the issues and solutions identified in the culture study.


Visualizing Global Issues

As students explored global issues and solutions, they discussed ways that they could make the world a better place. They produced a giant map of the world with symbols placed to represent various aspects of culture, religion, government, economic status, literature, and biomes studied by individuals and the class. The visual below shows their thoughts and connections.

Click the visual above to see a larger version.

Below are some of the key ideas including the topics of global warming, racism, and child abuse.


The children showed how they can help make the world better by participating in projects such as Habitat for Humanity.


Go to the Almanac Inquiry Ideas and Resources page to learn more about the next phase of the project.

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