Peace Corps Backpack

Students will learn about objects used in the daily lives of children in the host country.

This lesson for grades K-5 students is a great way to introduce and explain basic cultural differences through a spin-off on the classic 'show-and-tell' activity.


After completing this activity, students should be able to:

  • Understand the similarities and differences between what they pack for school and what children in the Peace Corps Volunteer’s host county packed for school.
  • Relate to students in another country.


  1. Choose 5-8 items to put in your backpack that represent how children in your host country packed for their school day (books, notebooks, pencils, money, bags, etc.).
  2. Ask students what they pack in their backpacks to get ready for the day. Ask what they think they might need if they were traveling to another country.
  3. Allow students to remove an item one by one from the backpack.
  4. Ask students if they know what the item is, or what it is used for and discuss each answer.
  5. Encourage students to share ideas and ask questions. Ask them about the differences and similarities they see with the items in their own backpack.
  • Were they surprised by anything in the backpack?
  • Were there any similarities? What were they?
  • What were the differences?