American School Life/ Rules Powerpoint

Powerpoint meant to introduce some aspects of American school life.

Powerpoint with quiz questions included. Made for ES 5~6 or JHS, but could be used in HS(?). Includes a Japanese translation in the notes as a jumping off point for things to talk about related to the slides.

Also sharing a mini quiz about school rules that can be used as a warm-up or a quick cultural aside if you want to cover this topic but don't have much time.

This is not one size fits all since I'm sure rules are different across the US, but I figured I'd share this here as a starting point for people thinking of making their own lesson or presentation on this topic. It might be useful to help you think about what kind of things to cover or what was different in your own experience. Feel free to alter as you see fit to match your experience and for students' level/ interest as well. And if you'd like, give an anecdote about how there can be all kinds of rules across the country and one thing may be acceptable somewhere but not elsewhere.

If you play in teams, it can take about 1.5 classes. Eek. If you play as a class, you can probably finish within the class, if you don't expand too much each time.

Topics covered- school start times, until what age is compulsory schooling, getting to school, bringing/buying things like snacks, ice cream, water, gum, your phone, headphones, situations like not writing your name on your tests, getting a hall pass, rule breaking, uniforms, a bunch of dresscode questions, and ends with pictures of various school rooms and how we use them.

I've also found out that one of the third grade elementary moral education textbooks (in Japan) covers school differences between the US and Japan, so it's possible this can be used for guest lectures if you're up for it(/your school is)! The textbook covered some of the rules mentioned in this powerpoint in the moral education textbook coincidentally. I guest lectured and used this to supplement the moral education class and the students (and teacher) found it very interesting. It helps to build on the text and especially if you're American, it's a great opportunity for the students to learn about differences straight from the horse's mouth.

Hope this helps! I would be interested to hear about some other Americans' experiences to find out if they were different or the same, so please share if you'd like!

Medium files (requires an account to download) -
  • American School Life and Rules.pptx (33.8 MB)
  • American School Rules Mini Presentation.pptx (2.01 MB)
  • 23
    Submitted by altirasuto June 3, 2022 Estimated time:
    1. HTemple June 6, 2022

      This was pretty fun to go through! I went to school in Hawaii, where everyone wears flip flops for almost any occasion, so I was surprised to see that flip flops weren't allowed! I'm also jealous of the theater. We had no drama program at all -.-

    2. UonumaRobert June 6, 2022

      I thought it was interesting that flip flops were out but sandals were ok. I guess the straps make them safer.

    3. VinShida June 9, 2022

      Like HTemple, I'm also from Hawaii. Most of the things are the same, but being a tropical area, most of the school pics are different. I don't think my schools had snack vending machines. Just soda. And yeah, slippahs (flip flops) were the footware of choice for most elementary school kids. If you take them off and put them on your hands, you can run "faster". (or so we beleived) Hahaha!

    4. HTemple June 9, 2022

      VinShida is on point. Nothing like playing tag barefoot at recess! But no ack, fo you get lickens, boy!

    5. altirasuto June 15, 2022

      That's so interesting. Thank you for the insight, HTemple and VinShida!
      As for the sandals/ flip flops thing- yeah, the strap is what makes the sandals okay. We were taught there's a possibilty of the flip flops coming off when going up or down the stairs and then causing a traffic jam or some kind of accident like someone falling down the stairs. So in my school district you had to have some kind of ankle support/ strap for your footwear.

    6. sbrshteacher July 7, 2022

      This is great! Most of it is what I experienced growing up as well, though the one thing that stands out is that our shorts/bottoms always had to be at least "fingertip length." And of course the rules varied between elementary, middle, and high school. It's neat to see what others experienced. Thanks for sharing a great PowerPoint! I have it saved and will use it if the opportunity strikes.

    7. altirasuto July 22, 2022

      sbrshteacher- the fingertip rule is what I was showing in the pictures for the shorts and skirt (or was trying to... haha). I picked pictures where you could see the model's fingertips were just at the short's length or a bit above for the skirt. (maybe that isn't clear enough though... ^^;)

    8. sbrshteacher July 27, 2022

      I guess I was just thinking in terms of how strict they were at my schools--if your fingers were within a centimeter then we had to change! :) Seems like we have ESID in the States too, lol.

    9. Milamber25 May 3, 2023

      Hey, just wanted to say that this is a great activity! Thanks for uploading. I'm going to create my own version of it and use it in class.

    10. ratclass February 14, 2024

      Great! thanks for sharing!

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