Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

World Geography: Russia

When we worked on our map of Russia, we placed it in context of the other countries we have studied: JapanKoreaChina and Mongolia, The Middle East (Arabia)Estonia and also the area we will be studying next, Scandinavia.
Next stop is Russia, the largest country on earth! We have studied...
Saint Ceyril and Saint Methodius, brothers sent to Russia as missionaries. They translated scripture into the Slavic Language.
Ivan the Terrible, the first Czar of Russia, was thought to be insane and during a fit of rage killed his oldest son.
Russia- Expanding and Modernizing {1682-1900}
Peter the Great, who came to become Czar as a child, he traveled to Europe and introduced Western Hemisphere ways to Russia.
Changes in Russia
Nicholas II, who was married to Queen Victoria’s grand daughter, and was the last Emperor of Russia, he and his whole family were killed. For a long time it was said that Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Nicholas II and his wife, may have escaped being killed, though in 2009 scientists proved the Duchess Anastasia did die with her family.
Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution, is known as the first Dictator of the Soviet Union, another name for Russia.
Joseph Stalin, was the Dictator of Russia after Lenin died. He killed more people than Germany’s Hitler.
Tchaikovsky, a Russian Composer who is well known for The Nutcracker and Swan Lake ballets.
Leo Tolstory, a Russian Writer who is known for his novel, War and Peace.

Marc Chagall or

Wassily Kandisnky, famous Russian artists.
Our Kandinsky project was made by finding and tracing shapes of objects, tracing them with a black Sharpie and then watercolor different areas according to aesthetic taste.
beets and Borscht (beet soup), cabbage, Beef Stroganoff, Blini (pancakes), Deviled Eggs, Pickled Vegetables, mushrooms, anchovies,   Liver Pate, Piroshki (vegetable pastries), Baked Potatoes and Sour Cream, Cream Cheese Tarts, Black Bread, Caviar, Chai Tea,
Siberian Tigers
Ukraine's Pysanky Eggs
Faberge eggs, jeweled decorative eggs made in Russia
Cosmonauts, Russian Astronauts
Onion Domes
For this project, we traced a circular top and then made lines going up to a point to make the onion domes, and lines going down straight to make the buildings. These were then colored, cut out and glued to a background of a dark, snowy scene.

related posts:

  • Another Celebrated Dancing Bear, Gladys Scheffrin-Falk (Pre-K and up)
  • The Firebird, Jane Yolen, This story is based on a Russian folktale and a famous ballet. The story includes an evil wizard, maidens held captive, Prince Ivan searching to save them and a mischievous Firebird. The illustrations in the book feature the folktale, with vignettes of the ballet in the border.
  • The Tale of Tsar Saltan, Alexander Pushkin This story features jealous sisters and a tsarina and her infant son that gets sealed in a barrel and cast in the ocean. They are helped by an enchanted swan, which eventually turns the son into a gnat so he can fly back to the tsar to be rescued. Gorgeous illustrations.
  • The Little Humpbacked Horse, Adapted by Elizabeth Winthrop, A classic Russian tale. Ivan is sent on one impossible task after another and is helped by the little humpbacked horse.
  • Luba and the Wren, Patricia Polacco. This is a favorite author of ours. An Russian-style adaption of the tale, The Fisherman and his Wife.
  • Babushka's Doll, Patricia Polacco
  • Rechenka's Eggs, Patricia Polacco
  • The Magic Nesting Doll, 
  • The Littlest Matryoshka, Corrine Bliss
  • The Nutcracker, Janet Schulman
  • The Girl who Wanted to Hunt, A Siberian Tale, Emery and Durga Bernhard, Features the tiagia and hunting.
  • Russian Folk Tales, retold by James Riordan
  • Eyewitness Russia, Kathleen Murrell
  • A World of Recipes: Russia, Sue Townsend and Caroline Young, A wonderful collection of kid-friendly recipes.

sources and inspiration:


  1. What a fabulous unit!! My high schooler is doing Russian for his foreign language and he loves it.

  2. How long do you spend studying each country, Phyllis?

    1. About one week at a time, but we cycle through World Geography/Cultures every few years, and we review what we did last time before we begin new activities.

  3. Awesome unit! I did a Russian unit with my son about 3 years ago, and I'll be studying Russian with my daughter this year. You have some really great ideas that I need to use this time around! Here's my Russia unit: http://homeschooladventures3.blogspot.co.uk/2010/08/geography-travels-to-russia.html

  4. Princess and I just went to the Nutcracker tonight together!


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