Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Russia Unit Schedule and Lesson Plan

When I found out I was going to get to go to Russia with Sam, I of course wanted to learn more about the country, so I selfishly decided the children and I would study it in school. :) We did a lot of the unit after Sam and I got home, so I had pictures and other things to show. But before we left, we invited my cousin Heidi and her husband David to come over for dinner and be Guest Speakers for us. (She majored in Russian, and he lived in Moscow for awhile and has a PhD in Russian Literature, so they were a great resource.) I had been to St. Petersburg when I was 15, so I had vague memories of Catherine the Great and Peter the Great, and I had learned about the October Revolution and so forth in AP European History (one of my favorite classes in High School)---but, as has happened with too many things, it was all quite distant and jumbled in my mind. Luckily, the information was in there and ready to come back with a bit of review, so talking to Heidi and David helped a lot.

I also read (on my own---not to the children) two very useful books on Russian history--John Lawrence's A History of Russia and David Remnick's Lenin's Tomb. In addition to all the other (mostly children's) books I checked out from the library, I felt I had a pretty broad platform of knowledge on which to base this unit. I still can't for the life of me read the Cyrillic alphabet, though (even though we learned the letters/sounds, a little bit, from some of our books).

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