Learn About Russia in Your Homeschool

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This week’s country in our Around the World in 11 Weeks series is Russia!  Russia is the largest country in the world!  Learn about its history, culture, climate and more with this unit study.  Check out the videos, hands on projects, books and other resources below and grab the FREE printable portion.

Note: For ideas on how to organize your unit study, visit the Around the World in 11 Weeks main page.

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Printable Unit Study

The printable portion of the unit study contains Russia Notebooking Pages, a Map Scavenger Hunt, a Following Directions activity, a math activity about Russian currency, Famous People Notebooking pages, and book summaries.  Grab it below! (23 pages)

Russia Free Unit Study printable pages including the Russia notebooking page, currency page, famous people pages, map scavenger hunt, and following directions..

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Videos About Russia

These videos give a history of Russia aimed toward older students. (Approx. 9 and 7 1/2 minutes)

This video is directed toward younger children and shares some of the culture of Russia, including ice skating and ballet.  (7 minutes)

Here is another video with the same children doing some other activities. (7 min.)

25 Quick Fact about Russia (Approx. 6 min.)

Research More About Russia

Kids World Travel Guide contains a lot of information about Russia along with beautiful pictures.

Ducksters has a variety of information about Russia including information about the geography, economy, and government of Russia as well as famous Russians with links to learn more about them.

National Geographic Kids has a slideshow of related pictures, fast facts, the history of Russia and more.

Cool Kid Facts has a narrative version of facts about Russia written in a larger font making it good place for younger children to learn.

Hands On Activities

Make a watercolor Russian Cityscape.  Watch this drone footage of Moscow’s skyline or St. Petersburg Another option is to draw a Russian cityscape with this drawing tutorial.

Artwork with watercolor sunset background and a Russia cityscape cut out of black paper on top of it.

Make Envelope Matryoshka Dolls.  Watch this video about how real Matryoshka Dolls are made.  And/or draw one of the dolls with this instructional video.

Make a Faberge egg and watch this video about their history.

Make Russian Food

Since Russia is such a large country, traditional foods can vary greatly from region to region.  Much of the food is based on peasant food from rural areas.  Over the last couple hundred years, though, more creativity has been brought to food preparation.  Here are some recipes to get you started:

Borscht soup is a red, beet-based soup that is very common in the Ukraine and Russia.

Blinis are Russian crepes.  They can be topped with savory or sweet ingredients.  The most high-end topping would be caviar!

You can try a popular Russian food simply by adding smoked salmon to your blini or a salad.

Russian dumplings are another popular food and are often filled with beef and pork.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can make medovik, or a honey cake, with layers pastry and cream.

For more Russian recipes, check out www.russianbites.com.

From our Russian dinner:

Blinis topped with salmon, chopped egg, sour cream, onions, and dill. Blini topped with strawberries, raspberries, and chocolate sauce.

 

Famous Russians

Included in the printable portion of the unit study there are notebooking pages for the following famous people of Russia. Here are some resources to research them:

Ivan the Terrible: Research, YA Book, Video

Peter the Great: Research, Video

Catherine the Great: Research, BookVideo

Fyodor Dostoevsky: Research, Book for High Schoolers, Video

Leo Tolstoy: Research, Kid’s book, Book and book for High Schoolers, Video

Vladimir Lenin: Research, Book, Video

Joseph Stalin: Research, YA Book, Video

Mikhail Baryshnikov: Research,  Video

Sergey Brin: Research, Video 

Maria Sharapova: Research, Video

Play Russian Music

Find a Russian playlist on your favorite streaming service or listen to this collection of traditional music from youtube.com.

Learn Russian

Rock ‘N Learn offers 30 minutes videos for a variety of categories of Russian words.  Aimed toward younger learners.

This a good beginner Russian video to expose older students to common phrases.

Duolingo is another free way to learn Russian.

Non-fiction Books About Russia

Fiction Books About Russia

Picture books:

For older elementary students:

For teens:

Movies About Russia

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2013) is a documentary about a small, isolated community in Siberia along the Yenisei River.

Red Army (2015) is about the Soviet hockey team during the Cold War and is available to rent through Amazon.

The Fencer (2018) Introduce your children to fencing with this movie set in Leningrad and available to watch with Amazon Prime.

Battery Number One (2015) This movie, set in World War II, is appropriate for teens and available to watch with Amazon Prime.

“Go to” Russia

Here is a list of seven museums in Russia with links to their virtual tours.

Or visit the Kirov Theatre in St. Petersburg and watch a performance of Swan Lake.

Check out one of these webcams in 15 different town/cities around Russia!

Download Printable Activities

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Study the Tundra

Few countries lie along the Arctic Circle and Russia is the one with the longest coastline along the Arctic Ocean.  So a study of the tundra can be a great way to include science in your Russian Unit Study.

Here is a short video about the Tundra:

You can also grab our FREE Tundra Vocabulary Cards:

Cover for product, Tundra Vocabulary Concept of the Day CardsWatch a video of the Northern Lights that can sometimes be seen in the Arctic.

What other activities have you used to learn about Russia?

Check out our sorting mats of 15 different countries in Europe, including Russia:

Cover for Europe Sorting Mats showing title, one sorting mats and some matching cards.

Other ideas for studying world geography:

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