YouTube logo

Introduction to ICH 5/5 (2)

Introduction to intangible cultural heritage (lecture)

Keywords: intangible cultural heritage.

Aims and Rationale

The aim of this activity is to introduce and develop students’ understanding of the concept of intangible cultural heritage (ICH). The suggested lecture format of this reflects the focus on providing a grounding in the most relevant topics, such as the definition of ICH, the main institutional and academic conceptualizations of it, and how the meaning attributed to cultural heritage was broadened after intangible cultural heritage had been introduced into the debate in the area of Heritage Studies. This lecture is of crucial importance as many students might not be familiar with the idea of intangible heritage and complements the more hands-on and student-led approach in the other activities.

Learning Outcomes and Associated Areas of Knowledge

Recognise the differences and similarities between tangible and intangible heritage

Identify and Describe the meaning that ICH can hold for people and community

21st Century skills

  • Conservation Literacy



How to

You can download our suggested slides and edit them according to your needs. These slides are made available via a Creative Commons Licence.

Alternatively, you can create your own set of visual aids based on this activity guide and the slides. However, we suggest that the following points are not overlooked:

  • The difference between tangible and intangible cultural heritage;
  • The institutionalisation of the concept and the role of communities in keeping it alive.


Students may struggle to accept the idea that ICH can be what people make of it and decide to transmit, without the necessity of external validation. To help students understand the unique relationship between individuals and ICH, you can provide examples of traditions that people keep alive in their own way and the link that these have with their cultural identity (e.g., family traditions).

Assessment for Learning

Assessment for learning linked to Introducing ICH can focus on enabling the students to demonstrate that they can recognise the difference between tangible and intangible heritage as well as providing opportunities for them to identify and describe the personal meaning if ICH for them and/or those around. This will allow them to demonstrate further understandings to help them build prior knowledge in this area for later activities.

Assessment 'How to'

Using media (audio, video, text) from real-world contexts, assessment for learning in this activity can focus on enabling the students to demonstrate that they can recognise the difference between tangible and intangible heritage. This could be done at the end of the lecture based on some of the resources you provide (as suggested under Challenges) or by asking students to bring in representations of their own intangible and tangible heritage artefacts.

As a follow-up extension activity, the Cultural Wall activity encourages students to start reflecting more deeply about ICH and, subsequently, providing a further space to enable them to participate in their own representations of ICH instances close to them.

Please rate this activity:

Download Word File of activity in English


  • Explain the difference between tangible and intangible heritage.
  • Explain the relevance the ICH has for communities.
  • Use local examples of customs and traditions.