The Development of Culture - Ways of Life

(Lecture Notes from Mr. Kersey's 7th Grade Geography Class)


  • Culture is the way of life for a group of people who share similar customs and beliefs.
  • For example, different nationalities, ethnic groups, or religions can have their own cultures.

Cultural Traits

  • Cultural traits are a groups skills, customs, and ways of doing things.
  • Language, clothing, food, music, art, government, and religion are all examples of cultural traits.

The Development of Culture

  • Cultures develop over time.
  • The first cultures went through four stages of development.
  • These four stages are:
    • The invention of tools
    • The discovery of fire
    • Growth of agriculture
    • and the Use of writing.
  • The first humans figured out how to use basic tools, like rocks, or sharp stones for cutting.
  • Then, with the discovery of fire, people were able to have light, and to cook their food. This helped prevent disease.
  • With the growth of agriculture, or farming methods, people could stay in one place. They did not have to be hunter-gatherers anymore.
  • The ability to stay put let them have more time. Time for stuff like art and invention.
  • One of the things they invented with this extra time was writing. Now people could record trades, or write down stories, like religious tales, and preserve their ideas.
  • We began to see history be recorded.
  • As technologies developed to make life easier, people had even more free time.
  • Not everyone had to be a farmer anymore.
  • This allowed culture to develop and grow even more quickly.