The Iceberg Model of Culture

The Iceberg Model of Culture

Theme: Intercultural Communication


Just like an iceberg, culture has visible parts such as language, dress, music and cooking but it is supported by a much larger underneath mass which is like the foundations of culture. These include history, norms, values, time, space and education.

This activity will help students to learn more on what is culture and will offer them the opportunity to learn about new cultures. 

Suggested time needed: 1.5 hours

Group Size: Any group size

Materials needed:

  • Screen 
  • Internet Connection and/or magazines
  • Pens
  • Paper

Description of the Tool:

Step 1: The educator shows the young people the iceberg model of culture and explains what things relating to culture are clearly visible and which ones are hidden. It is important to emphasize that the biggest part of culture is out of awareness!

Step 2: The educator moves on to show the students a video that explains in more detail the iceberg culture model.

Step 3: The students will be invited to group according to where they come from  and choose two pictures that best portray the culture of their respective country. Using the pictures, the students, with the help of the educators, will then have to list down the visible and invisible parts of their culture using.

Step 4: The students will all meet in plenary and share their work with their peers.

Notes to facilitators:

Note 1: The educator might want to start the activity by carrying out for example for the students by selecting a picture and outlining what are the elements of culture that are visible and which others are out of awareness.