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Ms. Blackburn's Language Arts: Cultural Book Padlet Project

Printable Resources

Due Dates

9/9 and 9/10 - Pick out your novel and nonfiction book

9/24 and 9/25  - Novel needs to be completely read

9/11 and 9/12 - First Discussion Questions Due

9/16 lunch - Make up discussion date

9/13 and 9/16 - Second DIscussion Questions Due

9/17 lunch - Make up discussion date

9/17 and 9/18 - Third Discussion Questions Due

9/23 lunch - Make up discussion date

9/24 and 9/25  - Short paper typing day

9/26 and 9/29 - Short paper due

10/3 - Last day paper will be taken late

9/26 and 9/29 - Online poster work day

9/30 and 10/1 - Online poster due

10/3 - Last day online poster will be taken late




Websites for the Project



LA 8.1.6a Analyze the meaning, reliability, and validity of the text considering author's purpose, perspective, and information from additional sources.

LA 8.1.6h Analyze a variety of genres for the social, historical, cultural, and biographical influences.

LA 8.1.6i  Use narrative and informational text to develop a national and global multi-cultural perspective.


LA 8.2.2a Write in a variety of genres, considering purpose and audience


LA 8.3.1a Communicate ideas and information in a manner appropriate for the purpose and setting

LA 8.3.1c Utilize available media to enhance communication

Multiple Literacies

LA 8.4.1a Select and use multiple resources to answer questions and support conclusions using valid information (e.g., print, subscription databases, web resources)

 LA 8.4.1b Demonstrate ethical and legal use of information by citing sources using prescribed formats and tools (e.g., online citation assistance, publication guidelines)

Assignment Directions

1. Pick and read a novel of your choice that has a different setting than America.

2. Participate in a discussion group about your book.

3. Read a nonfiction book about the same place setting at your novel. Combine the information you learn from the book with online research on Culture grams to determine if the book accurately portrays the culture.

4. Create an account on  to make an online poster about your book and country.



Step One: Picking a Novel

  1. Pick a book that is close to your reading level.
  2. Pick a book you think looks interesting.
  3. Make sure the book has a place setting that IS NOT in America.
  4. To figure out how many pages to read each day, divide the number of pages by the number of days you have to read.
  5. Use sticky notes to mark pages you want to reference in the discussions or on your online poster.


Step Two: Book Discussions

  1. Read the discussion questions before you read your book so you know what to look for.
  2. Write down the questions and answers in complete sentences. All three sets of questions should be stapled together to turn in.
  3. Share your answers in the book discussion.
  4. Write a paragraph response after the discussion about what your group said about the bolded questions.

Your questions must be answered before the discussion begins to participate. If your homework is not done, you will need to come to a make up discussion. You will hand in all the questions after the third discussion.

First Set of Discussion Questions:

1. Describe the setting of the book.

2. What challenges does your main character face?

3. How does your character react or adapt to the challenges?

4. What personality traits can help a person to adapt quickly?

Second Set of Discussion Questions:

1. How are you and the character alike or different?

2. How is the setting of your book alike or different from America?

3. Compare your novel to your nonfiction book. Does the novel factually portray the culture the way the nonfiction book does?

4. Can one book portray a whole culture?

Third Set of Discussion Questions:

1. What have you personally learned from reading this novel?

2. Is the setting critical for this story, or could it happen in any country?

3. If you were the author, what other culutral facts/customs would you add to the story?

Make up dates for the discussions are posted on the due dates box.





Step Three: Research

Step three: Research -

1. Check out one book about the country stated as the setting in your novel.

2. Take notes about the country and use NoodleTools to create a correct MLA citation.

3. Go online to Culture Grams to find out more about the country you are researching.

4. Take notes about the country and use NoodleTools to create a correct MLA citation.

You will use this information to write a short  paper and then create your online poster.

Short Paper: Write to the following prompt: Did your novel have an accurate portrayal of the culture of the country used as the setting?

Your topic sentence should include the author, title of book, and your opinion: 

Ex:  Touching Spirit Bear, written by Ben Mikaelsen, had an accurate portrayal of the Alaskan Native culture.

You must have an introduction (hook, thesis sentence, framework), body, and conclusion (thesis sentence, framework, clincher).

Paper expectations:

2 full pages typed, 12 size font, 1 inch margins on all sides, normal font, double spaced, page numbers on the top right corner with your last name

Please include a double spaced header in the left upper corner with your name, the date, your class and block,


Lydia Johnson

June 3, 2014

Langauge Arts Block 3/4

Center and underline the title of your paper     Ex:  The Alaskan Culture in Touching Spirit Bear

The last page should be a Works Cited page in MLA format including citations for your novel, nonfiction books, and websites.

Step Four: Online Poster

You will need to make an online poster at In order to create an account, you will need a personal email or a parent's email address. If you have questions about that, please see Ms. Blackburn. You will need to plan ahead to use computers after school if you don't have a computer or internet access at home.

You must have the following information on your poster:

All of the facts about your country:

You will need to take notes on the following facts and put the information on your poster.

  • Present Leader of the Country
  • Foods eaten
  • Holidays celebrated
  • Clothes worn
  • Religions
  • Weather/Temperatures
  • Geographical features (mountains/rainforest/etc.)
  • Physical location (Where is it at? Continent and countries surrounding it)
  • 5 fun, interesting, or peculiar facts about the country

You will also need pictures of the following items:

  • the flag
  • Map of the country
  • Map of the world showing where this country is located
  • 3 cultural items (foods, holidays, citizens, landscape, etc.)

Facts about your author and novel:

  • Author's name, birthdate, and two interesting facts
  • Title and copyright date of the book
  • A paragraph about the plot
  • Your rating and opinion of the book
  • A picture of the author and the book cover
  • MLA citations of your novel, your nonfiction book, and websites you used to find facts

Your online poster needs to be visually appealing in organization, layout, and color/font.

You will print your poster as a PDF to turn into the teacher.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (531-299-9822).