After reflecting upon what is culture, you now have to decide what aspect of culture you might like to investigate. At this stage of planning for your project, you might find it helpful to develop an essential or guiding question for yourself. This project is an inquiry, an exploration. Questions that are essential or guiding do not have clear yes/no answers. They ask how and why.
Some things to consider in choosing an essential question:
  1. Is it open-ended? Does it have a correct answer or is it open to discussion and analysis?
  2. Is it thought-provoking and engaging?
  3. Does it allow you to analyze two separate cultures?
  4. Does your essential question allow you to create more questions to dig deeper?
  5. Does your essential question require support and research (more than just an answer)?
  6. Is the question something you could revisit in 10 years and continue to work on?
Let's think about some aspects of culture and consider possible essential questions. These are meant to give you ideas to help create your own:
  1. Food ---> How has farming influenced ways of life in Canada and Colombia?
  2. Death ---> How do people in Mexico and Canada feel about death?
  3. Wars ---> How has a history of war impacted day-to-day life in El Salvador and Guatemala?
  4. Celebrations ---> What are the most patriotic celebrations in the United States and in Perú? Why did they develop?
Other possible categories:
Pop culture
Art / LIterature / Music
How people live / Aspects of daily life
Think about and develop some ideas around your essential question. When you have considered what you would like to investigate, on the next page, you will complete the Conversation Assessment for this unit. Have a topic ready that you would like to discuss with your teacher, and an essential question. They will help you develop it.