Friday, November 4, 2016

Matryoshka Monday

This fall I have been teaching a Russian language and culture course to a mixed group of 1st through 4th graders on Monday afternoons.  Most of them are beginners so we are taking things slow, but one recent Monday we learned the numbers 1-10.  I taught the numbers within the context of the topic ''Matryoshka'' and the lesson culminated in the children having the chance to make their own set of paper matryoshka.  I found a wonderful template online, but also gave the children the option of creating their own unique design.  We had multiple sets of minion matryoshka, various animals, a football theme, and even a very colorful minecraft matryoshka.  While they were working on their dolls I turned on some Russian music and two of the girls couldn't stop dancing in their seats.

Just before the commencement of fall break each of the Monday afternoon courses held an exhibition of what they had learned since the beginning of the year.  I loved watching everyone take on their own role in setting up the classroom.Two boys went and found a step-stool and declared themselves in charge of hanging up the worksheets the class had done on former Soviet countries and the September 1st ''Day of Knowledge'' celebrations. The older girls took over the organization of the posters, delegating the cutting and gluing to the younger ones, while one of my shy girls decorated the board and two others were just happy to color pictures of matryoshka to decorate the room.  We also had Cheburashka cartoons projected and I wrote the names of the kids visiting our display in the Cyrillic alphabet.

Monday afternoons will continue to be one of my favorite times of the week.  When each teacher has the chance to take his or her passion and share it with young, curious minds.  Isn't that what learning should be all about?! 


  1. Ah, this is great, Chelsea! I love how you incorporated matryoshka dolls into the lesson :)

  2. Thanks! It's definitely lots of fun!