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Global First Graders

Union Elementary’s first graders have been spending this school year studying different Asian countries. Mrs. Neuberth’s class has focused on Russia. Did you know that Russia is the only country on two continents? It is on both Asia and Europe!

The children began by learning the location of Russia in relation to our world. They enjoyed fine tuning their map skills and playing “Pin The Flag on Russia”. Nicholas said, “This is so easy to do because Russia is so big!” They delved into the surrounding bodies of water and located the capitals and some important cities.

The Russian flag was compared to the American flag. Rhianna discovered that they are both red, white and blue, while Gavin noticed that the colors are in different positions. Rey wanted to know where the stars were which led into more exploration of the American and Russian flags.

The class was shocked at the differences in education in Russia and America. Ryan could not believe the school days were so long and the children had to learn several languages, Math, Science, Geography, as well as acting, dancing, painting and gymnastics. “I’m glad I live in America!” volunteered Walker.

The Russian diet of mainly fish or meat served with potatoes or rice and pickled vegetables intrigued many. Watching a video on the fishing industry in Russia brought a new realization of how difficult that job would be. The only food the children considered eating was blini, or pancakes. Jodi researched and found out blini are made and eaten to celebrate spring and represent the warm sun.

The Matryoshka doll was by far the most interesting of all. Mrs. Aldridge brought in her own doll and a picture book explaining its significance. This nesting doll was created out of one solid piece of wood composed of the 7 sisters – 7 wooden dolls that can nest inside the largest doll. Brenda said she liked the bright colors of the dolls and the sweet faces. Saniyah thought they looked like angels. All students created their own pictorial representation of this doll which we used to decorate our class Holiday tree.

Patricia Polacco’s books about her Russian heritage were used for book and author studies. Traditions and festivals were abundant in these texts and soon the class could name and locate them throughout Polacco’s books. Christian, Jacob and Dynasty especially liked “Chicken Sunday” and “Reschenka’s Eggs” because of the intricate Pysanky eggs. Please ask about these eggs or read these books with your child!

Written by: Donna Neuberth, 1st Grade Teacher
Posted: May 12, 2014 by Jennifer Williams

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