Telling Times Activity

How does culture change?

Culture is what is shared by a society. Many different things make up a society’s culture. These things include food, clothing, tools, language, music, art, customs, beliefs, and religion. We can learn about a culture by looking at the objects that a culture creates. These objects are part of what is called material culture. We can look at the ways that cultures change by looking at the ways objects change and differ. The times really are telling when it comes to showing changes!

This activity will help you learn more about your own culture, and how that culture has changed and is changing, by looking at objects you have in your own home.

Step 1: Go on a scavenger hunt!

Look around your house for objects that tell a story about cultural change in telling time. Go on a scavenger hunt in your home and find everything that can be used to tell time. If you can move it, bring it with you. If not, take a picture, draw your items, or make a list.

Some things you might find are: watches, alarm clocks, phones, your windows, a microwave clock – keep looking until you’ve found everything you can.

Step 2: Think about what you found

With your list, your photos, drawings, or the things themselves in front of you, think about:

  • How are they the same? How are they different?
  • Do some of the objects have special jobs? Can they do different things?
  • When were they invented? Are some of them older than the others?
  • What are they made out of? What kind of energy do they use?

Step 3: Make an idea "map"!

Make an "idea map" to illustrate your scavenger hunt items. Click here to see an example.

  • Make an idea map on paper OR group your real objects into an "exhibit" on a table top.
  • Decide how you want to group your objects (on the page or on the table).
  • Label your object pictures or actual objects with the things you learned about them in Step 2.
  • If you'd like, you can cut pictures out of magazines or draw illustrations of the items and make your map/exhibit into a work of art! Use color (crayons, markers, colored pencils) to make your main ideas stand out.
  • Show someone what you made and tell them about what you learned. Ask them about how they tell time.

More Scavenger Hunt Ideas

Like doing this activity? Here are some more ideas for scavenger hunts at home: shoes, reading materials, lighting, transportation, cooking tools, and drinking vessels. Get creative and have some fun exploring cultural change!

Idea Map Example

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