Culture Boxes

What is a Culture Box?

Culture Boxes are filled with hands-on, authentic treasures and lessons about the art, culture and daily life of people from over 100 countries across six continents. Culture Boxes help learners to explore and understand cultural identity around the world. Teachers can borrow Culture Boxes to enhance their lessons and increase global literacy for their K-12 students. Culture Boxes can include:

  • Cooking Utensils
  • Folktale Books
  • Handicrafts
  • Musical Instruments
  • Toys & Games
  • Traditional Dress and much more!

Learn More about Culture Boxes

Explore the list of Culture Boxes and Props

Access our Supplementary Online Resources to Culture Boxes

Can You Really Put Culture in a Box? Read about our Somali Culture Box created by Faisal Osman, Young Leader in Action alumni. 


Contribute to the Culture Box library: If you have materials from around the world you think might be good for our Culture Box library — check out this list of ideas for possible Culture Box contribution and donation

For information on checking out Culture Boxes, how to use them in the classroom, inviting international students to your classroom, and other questions, please refer to the FAQ below.



To reserve a Culture Box, please contact:

Karen Ettinger, Global Classroom Manager

(503) 306-5270 or [email protected].


Please include your school, grade level, & the name of the box you would like to reserve. 




We currently have culture boxes in over 100 countries across 6 continents, including many cultures which do not have formally recognized borders. For a complete list, click here!

There are many different ways to incorporate Culture Box material into your lesson plans whether you are teaching virtually or in person. From sharing the French art of cheesemaking while studying fermentation in Chemistry, to studying Egyptian culture while learning Algebra—put your subject areas into context with Culture Boxes! Note for educators: learn how Global Classroom resources are aligned to Oregon Standards and Common Core Here. Check out the video below for just a few examples of how teachers might engage Culture Boxes in the classroom.

The user fee for each set of culture boxes depends on the number of the boxes and ranges anywhere from $20 to $65 a month. A sliding scale can be applied depending on financial need. Payment can be by check or credit card. Note: additional fees may be applied to cover loss of or damage to cultural items or educational materials.

After reserving Culture Boxes, please make an appointment with Karen Ettinger for pick up. Culture Boxes are located in the offices of WorldOregon on the 3rd floor of the Sovereign Building in downtown Portland at 1207 SW Broadway @ Madison. We offer curbside pick-up and drop off for your convenience and safety.

If you’d like to invite an international student into your classroom to share their culture and history and help bring a Culture Box to life you can request a Portland State University's International Cultural Service Program student at or contact [email protected] for more information.


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