Bethany Keller adapted this assignment from Stringer and Cassiday (2003, pp. 17-19) which requires students to choose a location and observe a cultural event or activity.
Culture an an Iceberg #1
The idea is to describe the ways that culture is visible (above the water line) and invisible (below the surface). We use Craig Storti's definition of culture as "the shared assumptions, values and beliefs of a group of people that result in characteristic behaviors" (Storti, 1999, p. 5) because this definition clearly includes both the visible and invisible dimensions of culture.
First, start with a drawing of a blank iceberg with a clear water line indicated. Next, divide the class into small groups and have them brainstorm together and answer the question "what is culture". Then have them indicate whether that aspect of culture is visible or invisible. Write their answers on the iceberg drawing either above or below the water line.
Culture as an Iceberg #2
Again, start with a drawing of a blank iceberg with a clear water line indicated. Have students break up into small groups of 2-3 and think of as many aspects of culture as they can. Have them put each idea on one post-it note. Then, each group takes turns sticking their post-its above or below the surface of the water.