I'm looking for classroom games and activities on the subject of culture and identity.
September 17, 2011 10:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for classroom games and activities on the subject of culture and identity.

I know this is very loosely defined, but I'm hoping that will be ok for the purposes of this question. I'm looking for activities and/or games for a group of adults (25 people, ages 25-30) that are centered on the themes of culture and identity. The adults can be all together, or split up into smaller groups. The main idea is that the activity will help participants think critically about the nature and complexities of culture and identity, that they it will (potentially) challenge pre-conceived notions, and generate discussion.

Note: I'm not looking for games/activities about a specific human culture. I'm looking for ones that help get at the concepts and constructs of culture and identity, especially ones that touch on the challenges of actually defining and categorizing culture and identity - both one's own identity, and culture at large.

Thanks for any ideas you might have!
posted by ORthey to Education (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Maybe each person could bring an object important to them and share something about it?

My poli sci teacher had us share our 9/11 memories (where were you, what were you doing, thoughts/feelings) as an intro to how people view such a formative cultural memory from different individual identities. But that's culture specifiic, I guess.
posted by guster4lovers at 10:23 AM on September 17, 2011

There's one called "Taboo" that we play at the language/cultural immersion camp I work.

1. Write your theme/key word on 5 strips of paper, cut into pieces. So you have 5 pieces that say "ETH," 5 that say "NO," 5 "CEN," 5 "TRI," and 5 "SM." or something like that

2. Split up the participants into 5 groups

3. Give each group the 5 pieces of one word fragment (so one group will have all the "ETH")

4. Tell each group to come up with wacky non-verbal actions/rituals to signify the following:
- a greeting (ex: high-fiving 4 times and whistling)
- a way to request something from one another (ex: pointing at what they want, barking like a dog, and winking)
- a taboo (ex: raising your hands above your waist)

5. The object is for each group to send one member at a time to visit the other groups to get the pieces of the word puzzle. Take turns!

6. When a foreign member comes up to your group, you have to demonstrate how he/she needs to interact with your group in order to get what he/she wants. So the 4 remaining group members will walk around, greet each other, and request things from/give things to each other (whatever they have on them-- pocket change, hair clip). The foreigner will try to learn the greeting and the request process, so he/she can get one of the group's pieces of paper. If he/she does the taboo, the group freaks out and stops talking to him/her until he/she leaves to visit another group and comes back.

7. Once all the groups have successfully mastered each other's "cultures," they piece together the word and you begin the discussion. What was easy/difficult about the game? How did you learn what the taboos were? How were the cultures different?

*Of course, it can be any number of groups, I just used 5 as an example
posted by desertface at 11:02 AM on September 17, 2011 [2 favorites]

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