Culture: Beliefs & Values

Unit Lessons

PYP Theme: Who We Are

BiblioGarden PYP Librarian Beanstalk LogoCultures: Beliefs and Values: Unit Overview

What is a belief or value? Do beliefs and values influence how we behave? In this unit, students explore how beliefs and values affect actions. Using the lines of inquiry, I’ve written lessons that focus on education, gender equality, natural resources, industry, peace, war, and literacy. The texts I’ve chosen are basic enough that the themes can be easily experienced, highlighted, and discussed. Ruby’s Wish by Shirin Lim Bridges is particularly effective. As boys and girls are treated differently in class, they come to understand what that might have felt like for girls who are denied an education. This unit is best with upper elementary students, Grades 3 and above. It is challenging, thought provoking, and usually quite effective in expanding upon the classroom teacher’s efforts.


Culture: Beliefs and Values #1: How Books Are Valued by Cultures Around the World

Lesson Overview: Based on the work of Margriet Ruurs, this is a tremendously powerful lesson for helping children understand the importance of community or school libraries.  Quite often children in developed countries take for granted the many privileges they enjoy.  In this lesson, they get a glimpse of the countless… Read more

Betty Turpin

Culture: Beliefs and Values #2: Henry Hikes to Fitchburg

Lesson Overview: This is a beautiful lesson about choices based on values.  Essentially, it asks the children to think about whether they would rather do work to earn money or have a long day exploring the natural world.  D.B. Johnson’s adaptation of the work of Henry David Thoreau is brilliant! … Read more

Betty Turpin

Culture: Beliefs and Values #3: Ruby’s Wish: The Value of Education for Girls and Boys

Lesson Overview: Most students have an innate sense of what is fair and unfair.  They can also be quite vocal in expressing their displeasure when they feel that they have been ill-treated.  In this lesson, preference is given to girls.  We purposefully provoke the students then introduce them to a… Read more

Betty Turpin

Culture: Beliefs and Values #4: Valuing Books in Time of War

Lesson Overview: This lesson offers students a contrast in belief systems. Although many countries and cultures value literacy and the literary tradition, wartime poses threats.  The text and lesson introduce students to one brave librarian in Iraq who heroically tried, and succeeded, in salvaging a library in her war-torn country.… Read more

Betty Turpin