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Developing Conceptual Understandings

 Building conceptual understanding of culture, cultural interaction, change, society, values, customs and traditions.

Best Evidence Synthesis (BES)

  •  Alignment – students are provided with opportunities to revisit concepts of culture, cultural interaction, change, society, values, customs, traditions.
  •  Community – dialogue is promoted through group work tasks; students learn about concepts when they talk together.


Developing the key competencies


  •  Participate and contribute, and relate to others, through group work.
  •  Develop critical thinking by examining how cultural interaction impacts on a community and exploring relationships between concepts.
  •  Engage in metacognitive processes to make sense of what they are learning.
  •  Develop as competent thinkers who reflect on their own knowledge.


Social inquiry links overview


Social inquiry overview 1.pdf  1 MB

Finding out information

  •  What is culture?
  •  What is cultural interaction?
  •  What are customs and traditions?



 In the following activities students will explore key concepts central to the unit. This is an opportunity for diagnostic assessment as they begin to form an understanding of the key concepts.

  •  Divide class into 6 groups. Students create a wall display for an allocated concept. Each group presents these to the class with a role play.
  •  Allocate each group one of these concepts: culture; cultural interaction; change; society; values; customs and traditions.


 NOTE: If classes are not familiar with concept mapping activities, then it is advisable to do a class example on the board first. A dictionary is needed for each group. Circulate around groups to monitor the understandings students are developing to ensure they are relevant.

  •  As each group presents the role plays, students complete a definition table to capture each concept. This provides each student with their own record of the key concepts that are essential to developing a comprehensive understanding of the conceptual understandings in this unit.
  •  Students read the Change in Springfield by Alan Smith (or teachers may choose to present the story in role) about change in the fictitious suburb of Springfield, and apply their developing understanding of key concepts to the case study. This could be done individually or in groups, or as a whole class depending on the strength of understandings developed and teacher discretion.
  •  Provide students with the concept circle diagram. This could be done as a whole class teacher-directed activity, or students could complete in groups, or individually. Students explain the connections between concepts around the circle, and then across the circle. See resource for further explanation. This activity helps students understand and articulate the relationships between concepts, and understand that these are not isolated.
  •  Consider the following questions to reflect on and evaluate the learning. This could be done in the form of a class discussion, learning logs, group discussion, think, pair, share, or other suitable activity chosen by teacher:
  1.  What do I understand by the concepts: culture; cultural interaction; change; society; values; customs and traditions?
  2.  Am I able to explain links between these concepts?
  3.  What learning experiences have helped me develop my understanding of these concepts?
  4.  How and why did I find them useful?
  5.  Is there anything that I need to have clarified before I move to new learning experiences?
  6.  How do these concepts relate to the idea of celebrations?


Formative assessment

 Check for developing accurate understandings of key concepts.

Resource links

Concept wall displays, reflections, resource sheet

Defining the concepts

Change in Springfield

Concept circle

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