Russian Culture, Multicultural Education, Omniculturalism, Matryoshka, Gzhel Porcelain, Maslenitsa
Journal/Book/Conference Title Title
The global diverse society necessitates that teachers develop cultural competency and use authentic resources for teaching. This article presents classroom-tested materials for teaching elementary students about aspects of Russian culture, developed by a native Russian and two education professors. Multiage, multi-racial American Midwestern students from a homeschooling cooperative learned vocabulary and concepts with statistically significant increases from pretest to posttest and a large effect size. The lessons began with recognition of human commonalities between Russian people and Americans, in accordance with omniculturalism theory. Lessons then highlighted and celebrated cultural differences through an exploration of Russian literature and culture. Culminating creative craft-making activities included simulating a Gzhel porcelain statue in white air-dry clay with blue markings, making a pop-up version of a matryoshka nesting doll set, constructing a papier-maché building with onion-domed towers and a Maslenitsa holiday scene, and decorating a paper-covered plastic egg with gems to make a Faberge-style jewelry box. The lessons, greeted with enthusiasm from students, included classification tasks, observation activities, and a Bingo-type game. Students evidenced deeper learning by continuing to connect their lives to Russian cultural content after the lesson unit had concluded.
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
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UNI ScholarWorks, University of Northern Iowa, Rod Library
© 2015 Ksenia S. Zhbanova, Audrey C. Rule, and Michelle L. Tichy. The copyright holder has granted permission for posting.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Zhbanova, Ksenia S.; Rule, Audrey C.; and Tichy, Michelle L., "Hands-On Russian Culture Lessons" (2015). Curriculum & Instruction Faculty Publications. 6.