Lesson Notes By Weeks and Term - Primary 5


Week 2-3




Topic: Cultural diversity 

Behavioral objectives: At the end of the lessons, the pupils should be able to

  1. Explain the words: culture, diversity and unity.
  2. Explain in simple terms what unity in cultural diversity means.
  3. Give examples of different ways of promoting unity in cultural diversity in our community

Instructional materials

Different kind of Charts and references materials 

Scheme of work 

And other relevant materials

6 years basic Education curriculum

Online information

Building background connection to prior knowledge: pupils are familiar with the topic in their previous classes


Culture is the total way of life of a group of people. It includes language, mode of dressing, way of greeting, music and dances, religious festivals and farming techniques. Diversity refers to a variety or wide range of culture. Unity, on the other hand, refers to oneness. Unity in cultural diversity, therefore, refers to oneness, in spite of the differences in culture, i.e. customs, traditions and languages.

 FIG. 1

Customs and traditions in the community

Nigeria is a country of many cultures. Each of the many ethnic groups in Nigeria has a different culture. For instance, in Edo and Delta states alone, there are more than ten ethnic groups with different cultures, although certain things are common to all of them.

Differences in customs and traditions

The way of life of Nigerians is similar in many ways, but some differences can be seen among the different cultures. These differences include the following:

  • Language: Each ethnic group has its own language. For instance, the Fulani speak Fulfulde, while the Yoruba speak Yoruba.
  • Dressing: The Igbo men wear long shirts on trousers. Agbada and buba are two of the traditional clothes of Yoruba men. Many Hausa men wear long white clothes, while the Urhobo prefer brightly coloured clothes.

          FIG. 2

  • Music and dance: There are various types of drums all over Nigeria. These include the Yoruba talking drums and the Hausa kannago. Apala music is a traditional music of the Yoruba. Udje and opiri are two types of music in Urhoboland. The Edo people play ema music.

          FIG. 3

Music and dance go together. For example, Atilogwu dance and Nkwa umu  agbogho dance among the Igbo are very important. Drums and music are played on important occasions only, and not just for mere entertainment. These occasions include funeral, marriage and coronation ceremonies

          FIG. 5

  • Body beautification: Facial and other body marks differ from one place to another. By looking at the marks on someone’s face, one can tell the family or ethnic group of that person. For instance, three straight marks, on each cheek, identify the Oyo people. Also, hairstyles, especially among women, show differences from place to place.

          FIG. 6

  • Works of art: Local weaving, carving, sculpture, smiting, pottery and painting vary from place to place. For example, calabash carving in Yoruba land differs from calabash carving in Hausa land. Kano city is famous for leather works.

          FIG. 7

  • Ways of showing respect: Nigerians regard greeting as a sign of respect. There are also other ways of showing respect. Igbo young men bow before elders as a sign of respect. The elders tap the younger men on their shoulders in return. Yoruba young men prostate, while the women kneel before elders. Younger Hausa men crouch when greeting elders. Respect for elders also includes not talking when elders are talking, not calling elders by their first names, and children running errands for their parents or elders.

Similarities in customs and traditions

 There are things that are similar among the different cultures in Nigeria. For instance: 

  • All Nigerians have traditional religious practices.
  • Nigerians show respect to people because of their age and experience, and not because of their money.
  • The same types of clothes are worn by two or more ethnic groups.
  • All Nigerians have extended families. Everybody is his/her brother’s keeper. 5 All Nigerians are kind and friendly to everybody, especially strangers. 6 Some members of an ethnic group can speak the languages of their neighboring ethnic groups (apart from their own).
  • All ethnic groups have traditional chieftaincy institutions.
  • Some languages have certain words in common. For instance, certain words in Igbo and Yoruba, and Yoruba and Igala are the same, and have the same meaning .

       FIG. 8

Cultures we need to keep

Many things or factors have helped to bring about changes in our society. These include technology, religion, politics, education and the ways in which people make money. Changes take place all the time in almost all aspects of Nigerian life. 

However, we should still keep some of our customs and traditions. Those we should keep include the following:

  • Our extended families
  • Our mode of dressing
  • The way our houses are designed
  • Our hairstyles
  • Our kindness to visitors and strangers (hospitality)
  • Our respect for elders
  • Our music and dances
  • Our arts and crafts

If we keep and preserve these customs, we would become special, and other countries would recognize our people anywhere in the world


Cultures that need to be changed

Some aspects of our cultures need to be changed. Some are already being changed. These include:

  • The killing of twins: Due to religious teachings and civilization, this practice has been condemned as evil, and has since been stopped
  • The existence of cults: There are some groups who engage in evil acts and do evil in secret. They do this to get into positions where they will rule others, or to make money. Such groups should be stopped.
  • Our attitude to wealth: Most Nigerians want to be rich. This desire is not bad in itself. What is bad is wanting to be rich at all costs, and wanting to get rich very quickly. This makes people do evil things, like giving and receiving bribes and, sometimes, stealing in order to become rich.
  • Our attitude to work: Some Nigerians work hard, no matter the type of work. Some others do not like to do some jobs, especially when it is a menial job. They see it as disrespectful. Examples of menial jobs are rural farming and daily paid jobs. We should do any job we have very well.
  • Female circumcisions: This is the removal of a body part or tissue in the body of females. This practice is dangerous to young girls and should be stopped.

Why some of our customs and traditions must be changed

There are many reasons why we need to change certain aspects of our way of life (customs and traditions). Here are some of them:

1 When some of our people get ill, they depend on traditional healers, or medicine men and charms, to make them well again. This was the practice in the past. However, since modern medicine is much better and effective, everybody should adopt it. This will make us have better health. 2 Breastfeeding babies is traditional. It then changed to bottle-feeding or using baby formula because women wanted to work outside the home. Breast milk is the best food for babies. We should give it to our babies, even if it means using it along with baby formula.

 FIG. 8

  • In the rural areas especially, it was not necessary before to use burglary proof devices in our homes. With the increase in the rate of armed robbery and stealing, it is now important for people to change and start using burglary proof and other modern security devices.

 FIG. 9

  • In traditional or rural societies, farmers used crude means of farming like the hoe and the cutlass. But today, the modern world has been able to produce a better means of farming, which is called mechanized farming. It involves the use of machines like tractors and other modern farming equipment.

 FIG. 11

How to change undesirable customs and traditions

Most of the bad aspects of our cultures can be changed through education. Such education must be given in schools, on television and radio, on the Internet and in newspapers. Government agencies, like the National Orientation Agency, and religious bodies can help to provide this education. 

 FIG. 12

Ethnic groups in Nigeria and the languages they speak

Nigeria is a very large country. There are more than 300 ethnic groups in Nigeria, speaking different languages. Here are some of the ethnic group

FIG. 13

State  Ethnic groups

Akwa Ibom: Ibibio, Anang

Anambra: Igbo

Bauchi: Hausa, Tangale, Fulfulde, Korkera, Poli, Yolla, Eleme

Bayelsa: Ijaw

Benue: Igala, Tiv, Idoma, Igede

Bornu: Kanuri, Shuwa, Bedde, Fulfulde, Bura, Ngizim, Hausa, Kanembu

Cross River: Efik, Efut, Qua, Ejagham, Ekoi

Delta: Urhobo, Itsekiri, Kwale, Igbo, Isoko, Ijaw

Edo: Bini, Afemai, Esan, Owan

Imo: Igbo

Kaduna: Hausa, Kaje, Gwari

Lagos: Yoruba 

Niger: Gari, Nupe, Koro, Hausa

Ondo: Yoruba

Oyo: Yoruba

Plateau: Birom, Agas, Miango, Hausa

Rivers: Ijaw, Igbo, Ikwerre

How to treat people who do not speak our own language

Some people who speak other languages live among us in our states. Some of our people also live among people who speak other languages.There are people who speak Hausa and Fulfulde languages, who live in places like Lagos, Ibadan and Onitsha. Also there are people who speak Igbo language, living in places like Kano, Kaduna, Sokoto and Akure. We should, therefore, accept people who do not speak our language, and be friendly with them. If we do not accept other people in our area, our people living in other areas will not be accepted by others. We are all human beings, and we are equal before God. Also, as citizens of the same country, we should learn to work together in unity for the progress of our country.

Assessment and evaluation

Teacher asks questions from pupils based on the topic   wrap up and conclusions

Teacher goes over the topic for better understanding.


1. Define Culture

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