Classroom Activities


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Early Elementary Activity

Flat Stanley Pen Pals


The purpose of the activity is to have the students learn about a different culture than their own. By sending the Flat Stanleys to Russia, the students will get an insight into their culture, everyday life, and school life.

Materials needed:
  • Flat Stanley cut out
  • crayons, markers, pencils, pens
  • journal
  • postage
  • envelopes
  • box

For this pen pal activity, you will need to coordinate with another classroom in another part of the world, in this case, Russia. Once you've made the necessary arrangements, instruct students to create their own Flat Stanleys. Over the course of several days, have students carry their Flat Stanleys around with them and make daily journal entries about their adventures. Be sure to have your students bring their Flat Stanleys home and have them write about it. Have the students write in their journals about what their family does for fun, the traditions they have, and what they do on a daily basis. When the students are at school with their Flat Stanleys, have them write about what they are learning, what they do in their special classes, and other things in the classroom. Fasten together each student's Flat Stanley with his or her journal and then mail all of the Flat Stanleys to your partner classroom. Meanwhile, your partner classroom will have done the same, so in a few days your class will receive a box of visiting Flat Stanleys! Have each student entertain one of the Flat Stanley guests, making entries in the accompanying journal. After several days, return home the visiting Flat Stanleys and journals. When your students get their own Flat Stanleys back, have them read their journals to find out what their flat friends were up to while on vacation! When the Flat Stanleys return the students will each make a chart; on one side will be the activities that Flat Stanley attended while at home and the other side will have the activities that he attended when he was in Russia. The students will then write in their journals some of the activities that were the same and some of the activities that were different.
(flatstanleybooks.com, n.d.)


Upper Elementary Activity

Let's Tour the White House and the Kremlin


The purpose of the activity is to have the students look at the different governments and their governmental offices of the United States and Russia. After researching and finding what they will need the students will compare the two countries' governments and how they are run.

Materials needed:
  • internet
  • books
  • pictures
  • notebooks
  • pens and pencils
  • posterboard

The students will split up into groups of 4 to 6 and will research the White House and the Kremlin. During their research, they will be able to use the internet and/or books to help find information. The students will find large pictures of the various rooms in the White House or a book on the White House with good pictures. They will choose rooms to be "visited" and find the descriptions of each room. During their research the students will pick out the important facts about history, furnishings, and uses that the students feel would be of interest to their classmates. They will then organize material into a "tour package". They will then do the same for the Kremlin. Using a posterboard or a powerpoint presentation, the images will be seen by their classmates while "tour guide": tells about each room and what office and country it can be found in. Begin tour with "Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the White House......" End with "This concludes our tour ladies and gentlemen. Hope you enjoy your stay in Washington D.C.!" After the last presentation, have the students get into new small groups and discuss the differences they found between the White House and the Kremlin. They should also discuss some of the governmental differences they found between the countries.
(ofcn.org, n.d.)

Fine Arts Activity

Design Your Own Building - Inspired by Russian Architecture


The purpose of the activity is to use design and structure to replicate a building that could be found in Russia. The structure and design must be realistic and must stand on its own.

Materials needed:
  • clay
  • paint
  • markers
  • cardboard
  • paper
  • styrofoam
  • any other structure building materials that may be needed
  • internet
  • scrap paper
  • pen or pencil
  • plastic containers or packaging
  • construction paper
  • foam cups
  • glue
  • tape
  • toys
  • paper clips
  • egg cartons
  • toothpicks
  • soda bottles
  • balloons

What do you think a building in Russia look like? What do you think they SHOULD be like? Use your creativity and build your very own model of a building. When you begin designing your building, remember that a building isn't just to design. It should also be able to stand freely and function as the building of your choice. Start by drawing up some plans for your future building. Here are some things to think about: Imagine where people will live, work, and go to school. Once you decide how you will build your structure, you should begin to build it with the materials you have collected. Make sure to use appropriate materials in appropriate ways. You may want to build your building on a large piece of cardboard so you can move it around if you need to. If you need help figuring out ways to build the different kinds of structures ask your peers and/or teacher. You'll probably find you need to make some changes in your plan as you start constructing your building. Don't worry! It's all part of the process.
(pbskids.org, 2010)





References

Classroom Activities - Flat Stanley. (n.d.). Flat Stanley. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://www.flatstanleybooks.com/teachers-classroom.aspx

OFCN's Academy Curricular Exchange - Social Studies. (n.d.). Organization For Community Networks Homepage. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://ofcn.org/cyber.serv/academy/ace/soc/cecsst/cecsst065.html

ZOOM . activities . sci . Future City | PBS Kids. (n.d.). PBS KIDS: Educational Games, Videos and Activities For Kids!. Retrieved December 8, 2011, from http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/sci/futurecity.html









Page Created by Jackie Pieroni ©
jlpiero@ilstu.ed
Created: 11/28/11
Last Modified: 12/9/11