Lesson Plan: Teaching Russian Letters to Children (in English)
Quite frequently when I talk to teachers I am asked about lesson plans. I think that having lesson plans to all our books is a wonderful idea, and at some point it will come to fruition. So I created two short lesson plans that should hopefully give you some ideas for lesson plans and how to use our books.
This information should be sufficient for about two 45-minute classes. If the classes are shorter, you might have enough for 3 or more classes.
I hope this lesson plan will be helpful, but please send me your questions, what worked and what did not, what you did differently and I will be happy to reply.
Usually I use several books at the same time (one of the reasons I like series – you can combine them if more material is needed). I also always interchange the “sitting” and “moving” activities, so the kids are not just sitting in their places all class long.
In these two lessons I used the resources from the Internet (you will see the links to all of those) and Russian Step By Step books:
- Azbuka 1: Coloring Russian Alphabet: Азбука- раскраска (Step 1)3+
- Azbuka 2: Playing with Russian Letters: Занимательная азбука (Step 2) 3+
- Animal Names and Sounds: Кто как говорит (Part 1 and Part 2) 3+
- Propisi: Trace and Learn 3+
Lessons to Introduce Russian Letter «В» [v]
On the board write the block letter В в (you can also print it out and pass it around or attach to a wall)
“Today we will be playing with this letter. Does anyone know what letter this is? ( a lot of kids who know Latin letters will assume it is the letter b – so remind them that although it look like the “ …… ( English, French, Spanish, German, Latin, etc.) b, it is not! It is a Russian letter called “ve”). What sound does it make? (it makes sound [v] like in vase). What Russian words do you know that start with this sound? (velosiped ( bicycle), voda (water), volk ( wolf)).
You can continue with – what words have the letter in the middle or at the end. Depending on what vocabulary the children have – bring in the pictures of the thing they already know that have this letter in the word).
(I usually use out book about Animal Families in Russian (Animal Names and Sounds: Кто как говорит (Part 1 and Part 2) ), so with this letter I would use the picture of the wolf family (Wolf dad, wolf cub and wolf mom. Wolf howls: Oo- oo – oo!) Open the book and show the picture of the wolf family.
Волк, Волчица и Волчонок. Волк воет: У-у-у! [Volk, Volchitsa i Volchonok. Volk voet: Oo-oo-oo]
“Please show where the letter В is on this page? She me the capital В, and where is the lower case one? Count how many big and how many little letter В are there?”
Call on different students and have them find the letter В.
“Let’s read all the words!”
If the kids did not cover all the letters yet, help them with the letters they do not know yet.
“Let’s all howl like Russian wolves!”
“Show me, where the wolves’ teeth are? Where are your teeth? Let’s make noise with our teeth. Wolves have sharp teeth – are your teeth sharp?”
You can also walk like wolves. “Wolves walk on four paws, let’s walk like them!”
Talk about the different words for father, mother and child. Ask who in their family will be which wolf.
“Look at the guests we have today…”
Bring three wolves of different sizes (mother, father, baby) and take them out a box. Allow the kids to touch and inspect the animals (you can talk to them about the body part, colors, etc. when they are inspecting those parts).
For older kids (4+) choose 3 teams, each team get represented by the father, mother or baby wolf and the toy is their mascot.
You can also use face paint and draw the letter В on the cheek/hand of the child (some parents do not approve of drawing on the face and face painting, so make sure to ask them before the lesson, usually painting a letter on the hand is fine with them, but the kids tend to like them on their cheeks more). You can choose different colors to represent different animals.
(If you only have one or two children, then instead this game you can do face painting of a wolf, and talk about the different part and color while doing it)
Put several object/pictures that have letter В on the table (photos, pictures with objects that have letter В, words that have В, blocks or toys that have В)
Turn on the music (Ahh, the mountains in Africa are this high! from Red Riding Hood) and the children need to go to the table ( “estafeta” style, relay racing) and take something that is with letter В and bring it to their team. It’s funny if the next person has to keep that object in their hand while going to get the next, and so on so they end up having several things in their hand and need to look for the right object and things start falling out of their hands – lots of laughs. If that is too complex for the age group – just have them leave it on the table/floor where that team is located.
Continue with that until the music is over. Then check the object for each team. Each correct object – adds a point. Each incorrect object takes one point away. The winning team gets a price (ideally something linked to that letter). They can also get to keep the wolf toys for the duration of the class or take them home and bring them back to the next class ( if you and the parent are OK with that).
You can make the game harder/easier depending on the age and level of Russian of the children. If you have one or two children only you can just say how many objects they need to find (each) and who get that number first or if they get that number before the music ends – then they win.
Then they can sit back down and you can open your Azbuka (Azbuka 1: Coloring Russian Alphabet: Азбука- раскраска (Step 1)) , find letter В and show it to them. Have the student open their books and find the right page where they see the letter. Do all the activates you can with that letter (color – review or learn colors, glue thread or other object, pieces of paper on the letter, you can use stickers, dot markers, beads, plastilin/play-doh, etc). The children get familiar with the shape of the letter and as you keep repeating the soudn it makes and they are saying it out loud they get to memorize it without thinking about it.
For older children you can make it more complex and have them glue only things that start with В (верблюд – camel, воробей – wren, вишня – cherries, вода – water, валенки – valenki, верёвка – rope, ворона – crow, etc).
Usually this is more than enough for one 45 minute lesson, but I tend to have additional activities in case we go through everything quickly. You can use one the homework exercises as extension activities.
1) Have the children watch the cartoon/s about the Red Riding Hood. Email the parent the links to several version of the cartoon available on YouTube.
2) Ask each child to find at home and bring to class next time 1-2 thins that start with letter В for the next class.
Lesson 2 is coming next!