Cultural Artifact Introduction

Cultural Artifact Introduction

This activity combines an initial asynchronous step with a follow-up presentation activity in real-time during class. As a way of getting to know each other and building community, each student will contribute one “cultural artifact introduction slide” to a class slide deck 1-2 days before the first class. This activity offers an opportunity to share some event or object that connects to an aspect of students’ identities, histories, languages, and communities. A cultural artifact is an aspect of material culture (an action, event, or object) that gives us insight into its creators and users. Students’ cultural artifacts may be represented in the form of a photo, image, text, screen grab or embedded media.

Activity title: First day mini-presentations: Cultural artifact slide introduction

Author: Jennifer Johnson

Course: PWR 2, PWR 1

Activity length and schedule:

  • Asynch: 20 minutes: Developing a cultural artifact slide
  • Synch: 20-25 minutes: Breakout rooms mini-presentations & group discussion

Activity timing: Best for first or second day of the quarter, assigned 1-2 days in advance

Activity goals:

  • Builds community and offers students an opportunity to share some event or object that connects to an aspect of their identities, histories, languages, and communities
  • Offers a low-stakes speaking/presenting with multimedia opportunity that asks students to consider their rhetorical situation

Activity details:

In this activity students will:

1) Create a cultural artifact slide on a class slide deck

2) Present their slide in class, guided by these two questions:

  • Why did you choose this artifact? 
  • How does this object, action or event give us insight into your cultural, linguistic or community practices at a specific time and place in your history or at present?

3) Find themes, patterns and connections in the artifacts and presentations

4) Discuss how presenters consider their rhetorical situation

Please find the student-facing handout here.

The activity directions can also be posted into a Canvas assignment.

Additional notes: This cultural artifact slide activity version was created for an on-line LSP. A special thanks to the LSP team for the conversations that helped me fine-tune the activity. To build early connections with students, LSP instructors found it very valuable to also create their own cultural artifact slide and send it to students 1-2 days before the first class as an example.  Other tips: 1. If you have two sections, be sure to create two google slide decks. 2. Link directions on the first slide and add “If google slides is new to you, feel free to reach out for assistance. Click the + button in the top left corner to add a slide.”