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Wrapping Up Russia

We are wrapping up our study of Russia. The kids have learned about the country’s political history, language, people, culture, geography, and diverse landscapes. Let me be the first to say that I would not volunteer to go there. I am not tough enough. Plus, they probably would not let me in anyway.

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Last week, the kids participated in a demonstration of permafrost. Gelatin served as the permafrost, crushed graham crackers as the thin layer of top soil, and crushed ice staring as itself. This demonstration shows what happens when the ice melts. The melted ice, a.k.a. water, does not penetrate the frozen ground. Instead, the top soil (graham crackers) get incredible soggy and muddy. There is no place for the water to go.

The kids learned that this is also the case in the tundra. The tundra is the ecosystem that they are also currently studying. This ecosystem receives little to no rain, yet lakes and ponds can be found and plant life thrives in the summer. The tundra is an extreme ecosystem and only the hardiest of animals and plants can live there. They are well adapted to this particular environment.

The kids had fun (not really) coloring their Matryoshka Dolls. I don’t know why it was so difficult to color a picture. Truth be told, Tristan did not complain too much, but he felt done after three. Gavin decided to do one and then I had to work with him to do the second. He firmly believes that he didn’t do the second one, except that he did. Hmmm? I sat down and colored one in and he decided to “help” me do another one. So, he thinks his second doll is really mine. I told him that since he did all the hard work, he gets credit for it. Case closed. Confused yet? Join the club.

The boys figured out how to write their names in Cyrillic. I think they really enjoy this. It’s sort of like cryptography for them. Theywrote their names on a poster and decorated it with their Matryoshka Dolls. Aren’t they cool? I call it an art/language project or it could be classified as a cultural project.

Yesterday, we enjoyed some pirog (Russian Apple Pie) with some vanilla ice cream. It was very delicious and super easy to make: only 4 ingredients and nothing that I had to run out and purchase. Yay! I love those kinds of projects. I would have taken a picture of this delicious treat, but . . . my camera’s battery was dead. So, just imagine it. Or better yet, go make one! I’ll post the recipe in a bit.

Tomorrow is the last day of Russia and of our study of Asia. Next, we move on to Australia and Oceania. We are super excited! However, we will miss Asia. We’ve had a lot of good times there.




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