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Russian Geography and Early Russian History Lesson

Updated on December 17, 2014
Painting a Russian Orthodox triptych
Painting a Russian Orthodox triptych

This is part 1 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Paint a Russian Orthodox triptych, taste caviar, play the Russian Temperate Zone Game, and more while learning about Russian geography and early Russian history. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while using the fun unit study book Russia: Land of Endurance by Konos Curriculum. Use these ideas with your class, family, or homeschool co-op group!

Included in this lens you'll find some of the activities we did along with our favorite books we read and YouTube clips we watched while we studied Russian Geography and Early Russian History. Topics featured include Russian Geography, Caviar, Slavs & Baba Yaga, Rurik & the Vikings, Genghis Khan & the Tatars, and the Russian Orthodox Church.

Russian Geography

Playing the Russian Temperate Zone Game

Eyewitness: Russia (Eyewitness Books)
Eyewitness: Russia (Eyewitness Books)

We used the maps and descriptions from this book while discussing and mapping the temperate zones in Russia.

 

Our Favorite YouTube Clips on Russian Geography

Free Printable Maps for Russian Geography

Caviar

Trying Caviar

Colors of Russia (Colors of the World)
Colors of Russia (Colors of the World)

This was a good children's picture book that gives a nice, brief overview of the country. It features a different aspect of Russia for each color and includes caviar for the color black.

 

YouTube Clip We Enjoyed on Caviar

Slavs & Baba Yaga

Creating Babushka Eggs

Our Favorite Baba Yaga Tales

Our favorite compilation of Russian tales was "Koshka's Tales" by James Mayhew, which includes the folktales of Baba Yaga/Vasilisa, the snow child, and firebird. Each page has nice illustrations. It is long enough that we read it in 3 sittings, even though my children wanted to read it all in one sitting.

Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale
Baba Yaga: A Russian Folktale

We read many Baba Yaga folktales. This was my children's favorite. The illustrations and story are not quite as gruesome of some of the other tales. It is almost like a combination of Cinderella and Hansel & Gretel. Some of the other authors of Baba Yaga/Vasilissa folktales that we read include Margaret Yatsevitch Phinney, Hiawyn Oram, Marianna Mayer, Rebecca Hickox, Joanna Cole, Elizabeth Winthrop, & Katya Arnold.

 
The Sea King
The Sea King

We also really enjoyed this Russian tale that combines the Baba Yaga/Vasilisa folktale with the Russian Sea King.

 

Free Lesson & Activity Ideas on the Slavs

Rurik & the Vikings

Dressed as Rurik & the vikings on their way to Russia

Genghis Khan & the Tatars

Paying tribute to Genghis Khan

Our Favorite Genghis Khan Books

Genghis Khan (Illustrated Biography)
Genghis Khan (Illustrated Biography)

We enjoyed this picture book biography on Genghis Khan. It is a bit longer than my 3 year old could handle, but my older 3 children (ages 5-10) enjoyed it. It does contain a few parts that you may want to skip over (such as descriptions of killings).

 
Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde
Genghis Khan and the Mongol Horde

My oldest son (age 10) also enjoyed reading this chapter book, which is part of the Landmark series, on Genghis Khan. The book is fast-paced and full of adventure.

 

Excellent Overview of Early Russian History

Russian Orthodox Church

Painting a Russian Orthodox triptych

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Painting Russian Orthodox triptychsCreating egg shell mosaicsHolding a semi-Russian Orthodox worship service
Painting Russian Orthodox triptychs
Painting Russian Orthodox triptychs
Creating egg shell mosaics
Creating egg shell mosaics
Holding a semi-Russian Orthodox worship service
Holding a semi-Russian Orthodox worship service
Sacred Treasures; Chorale Mast
Sacred Treasures; Chorale Mast

This is an excellent CD giving a wonderful sample of Russian Orthodox music. It is soothing, reverent, and extremely well done. We listened to this CD while the children painted triptychs and pasted the egg shell mosaics.

 

Watching a Russian Orthodox Service

Free Russian Icon Painting Lesson

Ready for the next lesson?

Designing and launching rockets from Lesson 6: The Cold War and Arms Race
Designing and launching rockets from Lesson 6: The Cold War and Arms Race
Making grape jelly to demonstrate the process of smelting from Lesson 4: Siberia
Making grape jelly to demonstrate the process of smelting from Lesson 4: Siberia
Performing a miniature production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" from Lesson 5: The Russian Ballet
Performing a miniature production of Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" from Lesson 5: The Russian Ballet

Cook borscht and blini, study and paint like the famous artists of Russia, perform a miniature "Nutcracker" ballet performance, dramatize a Communist lunch (complete with sentencing to "Siberia" for the non-compliant), and more in the fun 8 part study on Russia!

  • Russian Geography and Early Russian History Lesson - This is part 1 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Paint a Russian Orthodox triptych, taste caviar, play the Russian Temperate Zone Game, read classic Baba Yaga tales, and more while learning about Russian geography and early Russian history. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about Russian geography and early Russian history.
  • Russian Czars Lesson - This is part 2 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Construct a model of the Red Square, attempting Cossack-style dancing, decorate eggs like Carl Faberge, read classic Czar tales, and more while learning about Russian Czars. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about Russian Czars.
  • Russian Revolution Lesson - This is part 3 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Play the Russian Civil War version of Capture the Flag, endure a "Communist" lunch complete with trying to trade food on the black market, create Communist flags, and more while learning about the Russian Revolution. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about the Russian Revolution.
  • Siberia Lesson - This is part 4 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Sketch an Aurora Borealis landscape scene using pastels, making grape jelly to demonstrate the smelting process, cut out various shapes of snowflakes, dress up as and pretend to be musk oxen, walruses, Siberian tigers, and reindeer, and more while learning about Siberia. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about Siberia.
  • Russian Ballet Lesson - This is part 5 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Perform a miniature production of The Nutcracker, learn the basic positions in ballet, watch videos of and read about famous Russian dancers including Anna Pavlova, Nijinsky, and Baryshnikov, and more while learning about Russian ballet. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about Russian ballet.
  • The Cold War and Arms Race Lesson - This is part 6 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Design and launch various types of rockets, dramatize the Berlin Airlift and the Chocolate Pilot, prepare and eat blini, and more while learning about the Cold War and the Arms Race. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about the Cold War and the Arms Race.
  • The Space Race and The Olympics Lesson - This is part 7 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Make a full-size model of Sputnik 1, learn gymnastics moves and host a miniature Olympics gymnastics competition, experiment with sugar while learning about the Cuban Missile Crisis, and more while learning about the Space Race and Russian Olympics. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about the Space Race and Russian Olympics.
  • End of the Cold War and Russian Artists Lesson - This is part 8 in an 8 part unit study on Russia. Recreate Kandinsky’s and Marc Chagall’s works, build and then knock down a model of the Berlin Wall, decorate pysanky eggs, make and eat kulich, and more while learning about the end of the Cold War and contemporary Russian artists. Also included are our favorite books, YouTube video clips, lapbook and activity links, and other resources we used while learning about the end of the Cold War and contemporary Russian artists.
  • Russia: Faberge, Chess, & Borscht – This lesson provides a simple overview of Russia. I have compiled all you will need to locate Russia on a map, cook a Russian meal, watch YouTube clips on Russia, color the flag, create a Russian craft, read a great book about Russia, and more!
  • Ukraine: A Missing Mitten, Pysanky Easter Eggs, & Babka Bread – If you would like to learn a bit more on Ukraine, visit my lesson at which I have shared all you will need to locate Ukraine on a map, cook a Ukrainian meal, watch YouTube clips on Ukraine, color the flag, create a Ukrainian craft, read a great book about Ukraine, and more!

Looking for all of my lessons and unit studies?

Over the years I have posted over 30 science and social-studies based unit studies, compromised of more than 140 lessons. The unit studies include the Human Body, Simple Machines, Earth Science, Medieval Period, American Revolution, Pioneer Life, Countries of the World, and many more! For each lesson I have included activities (with photos), our favorite books and YouTube video clips, lapbook links, and other resources. I posted links to all of my unit studies and lessons at Fun, FREE Hands-on Unit Studies .

Free Russia Lapbooks

Free Russia Literature-Based Lapbook (various books included)

Free One Week Study on Russia (including lapbook links and activity ideas)

Russia: Land of Endurance
Russia: Land of Endurance

Russia: Land of Endurance

All of the above activities featured in the photos are just some of the many excellent activities featured in Russia: Land of Endurance by Konos Curriculum. The curriculum is easy to follow, with a lesson full of activities for each day of the week. You can either buy the book or you can buy the lesson book along with needed craft supplies and books.

© 2013 iijuan12

What first comes to mind when you think of Russia? - Or just let me know you were here! I love hearing from you!

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