Where in the World: Russia
This mini unit on RUSSIA uses the cross curricular approach to education. There are several activities from different academic subjects for you to choose from. One of the most important things is to have fun!
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Where in the World: Greenland
Below are some activities to help you study RUSSIA. You may choose to do all, some, or none of the activities. You can also alter the activities to better suit your individual child's needs. Some of these activities overlap each other, choose the one you think that you and the children will enjoy most. The main point of this unit is to make learning about RUSSIA and enjoyable for all who are participating.
The flag of Russia:
About the flag of Russia: http://www.crwflags.com/fotw/flags/ru.html
Create a Country "Infodesk":
Before you begin this unit you may want to set up a research area. Place a desk or table in front of a bulletin board area. This will be where you can place relevant books, magazines, photographs, posters, newspaper articles, maps, scrapbooks, games, puzzles, computer software, task cards, travel brochures, etc. that you collect.
Print a blank map of the country, or draw one on tag board, that you can place on the bulletin board. As you study the political and physical features of the country, have the children fill in the name of the capital, large cities, and major geographical features. Color the map using different shades for varying elevations. You may also want to include other political map features such as lines differentiating various regions, states, etc.
Place a chart next to the map called "Country Facts." List any information on here that you would like to be able to find at a quick glance. Have the children fill this chart up as the unit progresses.
Build a Mini Museum
Build a mini museum to exhibit any artifacts or memorabilia about the country you are working on. Label the items with a date and a brief explanation of their history. Also display any maps and projects made by the children.
Create a Unit Portfolio
During this unit, you can have the child(ren) prepare a portfolio to keep their notes and completed projects in. Include an outline map of the state or a copy of the state flag to go on the cover of the portfolio. Have them include the date they begin and complete the unit.
Use any or all of the following sub-topics to gather information on the country. This can even be used as your "Country Facts" sheet mentioned in "Infodesk" section above.
1. Country Name:
3. Total Area:
4. Location by Longitude/Latitude or by Hemispher or by continent:
7. Capital City:
8. Major Industry:
9. Manufactured Goods:
10. Agricultural Crops:
14. National Anthem:
15. Tourist Attractions:
16. Historical Facts:
17. Largest Cities
§ By area
§ By population
18. National Preserves:
19. National Seashores:
20. National Monuments:
21. National Wonders
22. Average January Temperature:
23. Average July Temperature:
24. Endangered Species:
25. National Parks:
26. National Historical Parks:
27. National Memorials:
28. National Historical Sites:
29. Famous People:
20. Amazing Facts:
21 Type of Government:
22. Government Leader:
23. Annual Events:
24. Name and address of country's tourist information center:
25. Unusual Wildlife:
26. Language spoken:
27. National Sport:
When you have completed gathering the above information, you could do use the facts to:
§ Create a "Country A to Z Fact Book" with a person, place, or fact for each letter of the alphabet.
§ Create a "Country Book of Facts" by cutting paper into the shape of the state and writing one interesting fact along with an illustration on each page. Bind the pages together in a cover of the same shape as the pages.
§ Use the facts to help with other activities in this unit.
List what you know before you begin the unit and what you would like to learn during the unit and then when the unit is over what you learned throughout the unit.
Information Scavenger Hunt:
As an ongoing part of this unit, have a "country scavenger hunt" to answer questions about the country. Country archives, history books, museums, artifacts, photographs, old newspapers and magazines, and experts on various topics of interest will help gather an overall picture of the country.
Set up categories (i.e., in the beginning, early immigrants, geography, famous people, etc.) and provide containers (i.e., folders, boxes, etc.) to keep the material and information you gather in to keep them organized.
Information you gather on your "scavenger hunt" can be used to prepare reports on the country. The complexity and method of presentation of the reports will depend on the level of your child(ren).
As you work on this unit, gather information, you may wish to create a country timeline so that you can see important events in the states' history presented in a chronological format.
Timeline Example #1
Timeline Example #2
Additional Areas of Research:
1. Who were the first inhabitants of the country?
2. Who were the first pioneers into the country?
3. What are the major historical eras of the country?
4. You may wish to research one or more famous people from the country.
Land Form Maps
Making country maps of various kinds is an excellent way to learn about land forms, locations, and state resources. A "land form" map shows the shape and height of the land. It shows mountains, plateaus, hills, plains, rivers, etc.
Create your own landform map of the country's geographical features.
1. Determine the country's features by looking up a state map in an atlas, an encyclopedia, or a geography book.
2. Make a landform key at the bottom of your blank map form. Include symbols for each of the different landform types in your country.
3. Color in the areas in your country to match the key. Your key should be color-coded. Make the highest land form the darkest color and the lowest land form the lightest color. You can use colored pencils, crayons, markers, etc.
4. Label the large rivers and mountain ranges with their names.
You could also make a relief map of the country. A relief map is a 3D version of a landform map. You could use paper mache or salt dough to make your own relief map.
1. On a map, draw a star to show the location of Russia's capital city. Write its name by the star.
2. Label the following on the same map:
all bordering countries
Sea of Okhotsk
Country Resource Map:
Resources are things that people use every day. Resources are found and developed from the land itself, or made into other things we use.
1. What resource or manufactured good is your country best known for?
2. How does this resource or product affect the country's economy?
3. How does the country's resources/products affect how people live?
4. What products from neighboring countries are used by the country?
Make a product map:
1. Look in an atlas, encyclopedia, or geography book to find a map showing the location of products raised or produced in the country.
2. Create a product map showing where these products are grown or manufactured in the country. Use a symbol key to represent the products on your map.
3. Show important cities situated near these resources on your map.
Make a mineral map:
1. Look in an atlas, encyclopedia, or geography book to find a map showing the location of minerals in the country.
2. Create a minerals map showing what minerals are mined in the country, if any. Minerals are natural substances obtained by mining such as coal, ore, salt, or stone. Use a symbol key to represent the minerals.
3. Show important cities situated near these resources on your map.
Listen to the tune and words of the country's anthem. How long has this anthem been in use? Who wrote it and under what circumstances?
Russia's National Anthem: http://www.thenationalanthems.com/country/russia.htm
Wildlife of the Country:
Learn about this country's wildlife and then find out the following information:
1. name of animal
3. colors and markings of this animal
4. food of choice for this animal
5. enemies this animal may have
6. protective behaviors
8. type of nest, burrow, etc.
9. size of its young, as well as incubation or gestation time
10. migration habits
11. type of teeth
12. feet type
13. adaptations to environment
14. songs, calls, or other sounds
15. other interesting behaviors
16. endangered or not
Draw a picture of each animal and write a paragraph about what you have learned. Add this to your unit portfolio.
Every country is affected by conditions of climate and geography. Countries experience floods, earthquakes, sinkholes, erosion, hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms, firestorms, blizzards, drought, mudslides, volcanic activity, and electrical storms.
Make a list different weather types that affect the country you are researching. Look in newspapers, travel brochures and books, tourism sites, etc. to find this information out.
1. Make a table of the country's average monthly rainfall, then record the information on a bar graph.
2. Make a table of the country's average monthly temperature, then record the information on a line graph.
3. List various severe weather found in this country and any country-wide plans for dealing with it. For instance, Florida has hurricane evacuation routes in flood prone areas.
What is Russia's basic unit of money?
Why is there a severe housing shortage in Russian cities?
Describe the problems many people have living in Moscow.
What is the country's official language and what is their alphabet called?
What are some popular Russian dishes (foods/recipes)?
Define sovkhozy and holkhozy.
What happened to the Soviet Union in 1991? How did this effect Russia?
What is a czar?
Who was Ivan the Terrible.
What Russians have won the Nobel Peace Prize for literature? List one title of a famous work written by each.
Who was Tchaikovsky? List two of his works.
Name two famous Russian ballet companies.
Describe either Russia's four zones or its five land regions.
What is permafrost? How much of this country is covered by it?
Research the Russian alphabet and copy it neatly in your journal or on a separate piece of paper.
Plan a trip to Russia. Outline your journey in pencil on a map. Tell a few interesting facts about four of the places you visited.
Research Catherine the Great. Pretend first that you were a famous Russian composer and second that you were a poor serf. Describe what life would have been like under Catherine's rule for each of these two people.
Choose an event, movement, or important figure from Russia's past to research and study. Share this information in the form of a report, play, story, art activity, or project of your choice.
If you have any information or links that you think would enhance this unit, please feel free to contact me through the feedback button in the left hand column.