After introducing the elements of culture to your class, this is an excellent activity that will allow students to identify elements of their own culture.
Explain to students that they are to decorate the outside of their boxes with pictures and other print materials to represent elements of their own surface culture. They may use magazine pictures, drawings, newspaper pictures, post cards, etc. to communicate various elements of surface culture.
The inside of their box is to contain items that represent elements of their deep culture. The box needs to contain between 6-10 items (no valuable items).
The students will present their culture boxes to the class and explain the significance of the decorated box and the items it contains.
I teach in an urban inner-city school with a large population of ESL students from twenty-two various language backgrounds, students who live in public housing, and students who are bused from a suburban area. This activity was enormously successful and insightful in my class.