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Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Paul D. Coverdell World Wise Schools

Building Bridges

A Peace Corps Classroom Guide to Cross-Cultural Understanding


Building Bridges Publication Cover

The booklet provides short, adaptable lesson plans and activities that build cross-cultural awareness, respect, and communication in your classroom. Lessons are flexible, easy to use, and standards-based. The introduction (pdf–33 KB) explains more about the purpose of the book, its audience (grades 6–12), the terms used, the standards addressed, and more.

Building Bridges was supported in part by the National Geographic Society Education Foundation

Unit I: Culture in the United States

  1. Introducing Culture
  2. Features of Culture
  3. Defining Culture
  4. Culture Is Like an Iceberg

Unit II: Culture Beyond the United States

  1. On Being Seen as Different
  2. Americans
  3. Generalizations: How Accurate Are They?
  4. Interpreting Behavior: Expanding Our Point of View
  5. Resolving a Cross-Cultural Misunderstanding
  6. Seeing Both Sides of an Issue
  7. A Fundamental of Culture: Cultural Context
  8. Brief Encounters
  9. Window Into Another Culture

Taking Action

To help students become more involved in the norms and sensitivities of other cultures, you may wish to guide them to real-life experiences that employ what they have learned in this booklet's lessons. These experiences may occur in the classroom, in the school at large, at home, in the local community, or in communities worldwide. Click here (pdf–21 KB) for service learning ideas.


For a list of contributors and reviewers for this publication, click here. (pdf–14 KB)

Download Building Bridges

Download Building Bridges as a pdf file here. (pdf–568KB)