Visualize Vocabulary: Culture

Posted by on Mar 16, 2014 in Freebies, vocabulary development | 2 comments

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.

~ Mahatma Gandhi


I have neglected my blog. I think its neglect is based on my lack of focus. I haven’t or hadn’t found a purpose for my blog. My blog name screams to me that it has a purpose, but I’ve ignored that for a mish mash of items with no purpose.

The purpose of my blog is not:

  • to talk about day to day problems at school
  • to share ideas of others that I’ve loved or learned from
  • simply to sell my products from TpT or TN

Then what is its purpose?

I really want to:

  • build (discover, decode, dissect, develop, discuss, define) vocabulary in ways that will help upper elementary teachers (grades 3 – 5?) work with their students
  • share materials that help build vocabulary
  • and as appropriate, point to products on TpT (mine or others, paid or free) that will provide additional support.

I am thinking that I might make “Visualize Vocabulary” a weekly topic. I will get my word from what I am working on for my classroom or from where I perceive a need. I hope that I can build a good blog from this idea.

My first topic is actually Texas culture. My students are supposed to learn about the culture of their state. I realized that they did not have a good understanding of the word culture to build from. Culture has so many parts.

Culture Defined

culture defined
As we discussed the parts, students began to build a definition of culture. I asked students to explore their family culture.

Culture Bubble Map

This bubble map can be reused anytime a new country or culture is explored.  After a basic understanding of culture was built we looked at the culture of Texas.

Texas Culture


Students used this reading to locate facts about Texas culture. They needed to use the various text features to complete the activity. This page works well as a close reading.


Please let me know if this blog post is of value to you and if you feel others like this might be helpful.




  1. I love this idea! And not to take you back to your TPT site, but what a great little language culture idea to put together a little packet that covers the states of the teachers you serve on TPT. I would absolutely buy a NEBRASKA Language Culture packet!!

  2. I always appreciate your thoughtfulness. I don’t know how you can do that without sharing the ideas of others, however. The most powerful teaching tools I have for teaching vocabulary came from Jim MacDiarmid. His work is particularly helpful for teaching language-impoverished children. One way I have incorporated his work is that I pick an image to introduce new vocabulary, and I do not show the written word for several days. (BTW I teach 5/6). There’s a lot more to it, obviously! Just a thought to inspire you.

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