an archive of lesson plans

Author: anastasiab

RU S13 ADV Cards against humanity

Conversation Class

Lesson Summary

Language and Section: Russian Advanced

 Date:  04/16/13

 Class theme/topics discussed: Cards against humanity

 Goal of the class:

–        To make our own cards for the game and to play it

Structure of the class (unless you attach your lesson plan below):

–        Casual talk with the students;

–        Asking students whether they know the game ‘Cards against humanity’;

–        Students explain the rules of the game;

–        Each student imagines about 10 questions for the game and writes them down on the draft ;

–        Each student shows his/her questions to the teacher and they correct them together ;

–        Students write down corrected questions on the cards;

–        Playing the game.

What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.)

–        cards

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students had a chance to apply their imagination while creating those cards. It was a good practice to write in Russian. I corrected their mistakes with them. The game went really well: we laughed a lot since it was personalized. And even though it was just a game, it had a deep educational moment in it. Students had to read in Russian and to come up with the funny answers, which involved a lot of improvisation and spontaneity. Moreover, they also had to change the words’ endings so it would be the proper grammar. The game could be used by another language resident with other groups of students.

 How could this class be improved/ modified?

Everything worked well so I wouldn’t change anything.







RU S13 ADV Housing Communal Flat (Kommunalka)

Conversation Class Lesson Summary

Language and Section: Russian Advanced

 Date:  03/05/13

Class theme/topics discussed: The way of life in a communal flat (kommunalka)

 Goal of the class:

–        To learn new cultural information (to become familiar with the way of life in a communal flat) and to learn new vocabulary

–        To practice listening, reading, speaking

Structure of the class (unless you attach your lesson plan below):

–        Watching a music video clip of the Russian song ‘Communal flat’ (‘Eta kommunalnaya kvartira’): students are asked to watch it really carefully so they could identify the details of the communal life style and its possible problems;

–        Students get the handouts with the song’s lyrics, which contain blank spots: students need to remember/guess the missing words and write them down;

–        Listening to the song for the second time in order to help the students to write down more missing words (those they didn’t get from the first listening);

–        Checking the answers with the whole class;

–        Discussion: students tell what they noticed about the communal way of life and its advantages and disadvantages (they also come up with possible solutions to the most common problems). While they are doing that, the teacher writes the necessary vocabulary on the whiteboard (such words as schetchik and so on);

–        The teacher tells some cultural information about the communal flats (or, just like me shares his/her experience about living in a communal flat if he/she used to);

–        Students get the handouts with a fact about communal flats written on them (it contains difficult numbers): they are asked to read a piece of it;

–        Role-play: students get their roles (babushka, studentka, molodaya sem’ya s rebenkom etc), they have to pretend that they are neighbors in a communal flat. They start the conversation with ‘complaining’ about some problems and they have to reach some kind of a compromise (for example, imagine the rules that would make their life easier in this flat).

What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.)

–        Whiteboard


–        Handouts with the lyrics

–        Handouts with a sentence containing difficult numbers

 What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students enjoyed watching the video and they really liked the song.  They noticed quite many things about this special life style and they managed to identify quite many possible problems. They also enjoyed the stories I told from my experience. The students were very good in reading numbers as well. And we all had fun during the role-play.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

Everything worked well so I wouldn’t change anything.

RU S13 ADV Future and advice

Conversation Class

Lesson Summary

Language and Section: Russian Advanced

Date:  02/26/13

 Class theme/topics discussed: Ways to know your future; Giving advice

 Goal of the class:

–        To practice future tense

–        To develop imaginative talk in Russian

–        To practice problem-solving

 Structure of the class (unless you attach your lesson plan below):

–        Pair work: students exchange their dream collages[1], they look at them for a while and try to imagine the future for another student according to his/her dream collage. They also think of questions they would ask regarding their future. While they are doing that, the teacher is writing down some expressions the students could use on the whiteboard;

–        Pair work continues (role-play): one of the students wants to know his/her future, another student is a fortune-teller. To make the game more interesting students ask their questions they came up with earlier;

–        Pair work continues: switching roles;

–        Presentation: each student tells his/her future after he /she ‘went’ to a fortune-teller and comments on whether it was close to what he/she was actually dreaming about;

–        Discussion: Fortune-tellers, can they really predict the future or are they just good psychologists? + Students tell whether they would ever go to a fortune-teller for real;

–        Asking students what other ways of predicting the future they know (horoscopes are among them);

–        Students go to the white-board and draw 3 zodiac signs each. The teacher tells the name of each of it in Russian;

–        Students get their February horoscopes and read them to the class;

–        Together we identify the different parts of a horoscope (love life, career, family & friends etc.) and note its element of advice;

–        Students need to write down on a piece of paper their own or an imaginary problem that needs a solution/advice. The teacher writes down such expression as ‘in my opinion’, ‘to my mind’, ‘I believe/consider’, ‘my advice is’ etc.

–        Game ‘Doctor Ai-bolit’: the teacher collects the papers with problems, mixes them and pretends that he/she is the one who needs a piece of advice. He/she reads the problems one by one and students pretend to be the ‘doctors’ – those who give advice. In order to get 1 point a student should be fast and creative in giving advice. The one, who gets the most points, also gets some prize.

 What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.)

–        Dream collages

–        Whiteboard

–        Fact magazine, which contains horoscopes

 What worked well in this class? What did not work?

It was a fun class as it involved a lot of different activities implying different skill sets. The students had a chance to imply their imagination while telling the future to their partners. The final stories were quite interesting. Another fun thing is that they had a chance to draw on a whiteboard. This way they remember new vocabulary better due to association. The students also like the activities that involve competition and some prize. So they were really motivated during the ‘Doktor Ai-bolit’-game. During this lesson the students talked a lot so be prepared that you might not have the time to finish all the planned activities. However, you can always continue them in the next lesson.

[1] We made those collages during one of the previous lessons when we were talking about the dreams. Otherwise, they could be made in the beginning of the new lesson.

RU F13 ADV Students’ rituals and beliefs

Language and Section: Russian Advanced

Date: 10/30/12

Class theme/topics discussed: Students’ rituals/beliefs or how to be successful on an exam without preparing

Goal of the class:
– to advance the ability to understand video materials in Russian
– to practice reading
– to inform the class about students’ traditions/rituals in Russia

Structure of the class:
– Asking students how they celebrated Halloween, what costumes did they wear etc. (as a warm-up)
– Watching a video about the monument to the dog (in Moscow subway) that brings luck
– Talking about the video (What did students notice?)
– Showing more pictures of the monument
– Reading the text about history of the monument (each student read a passage at front of the class)
– Discussing the text (in order to check how they understood the content)
– Telling the class about other students’ rituals in Russia (including watching a video about students catching “khalyava” at campus and showing a monument to the students’ beliefs)

What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.)
– (to show pictures)
– (to show videos)
– Russian money (to demonstrate one of the rituals)
– handouts with text

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

This class worked well because it involved a whole range of different activities and skills necessary for them. Students were interested in the topic: they learnt a lot of new information even though they all were in Russia before. It was useful for me as a teacher since I understood that even advanced students need to work more on their reading.

How could this class be improved/ modified?
I would not change anything.

RU F12 INT White lies; students & cheating

Language and Section: Russian Intermediate

 Date:  09/13/12

 Class theme/topics discussed: White lie; Students and cheating

 Goal of the class:

–        to practice description, argumentation and presentation

–        to compare Russian, American and Italian contexts regarding the topic

 Structure of the class:

–        Asking students how they understand an expression “white lies”; introducing vocabulary of the topic

–        Group work (each team get a sheet of paper with white lies; they should rate how bad is each situation coming to a common conclusion)

–        Discussing the results with the whole class, talking about controversial opinions and cultural differences

–        Students giving examples of their white lies and most common white lies of the nation they represent; most common white lies in Russia

–        Talking about students and cheating (Students had to guess what was a little paper with formulas, it was shpargalka – cribs. They discussed where one could hide it. Then we talked about how students cheat in Russia, the USA and Italy. Students told about their experience with cheating)

What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.)

–        A sample of cribs

–        Handouts with white lies situations

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

The students really enjoyed the topic. They were willing to speak and stand for their opinion. In general, they were negative about cheating but they also told that sometimes white lies are necessary. So everything worked well.

 How could this class be improved/ modified?

If the teacher had time, it would be nice to show funny videos about white lies or students and cheating.


RU F12 INT Relay race

Language and Section: Russian Intermediate

 Date:  09/06/12

 Class theme/topics discussed: 3-stage relay race; University (2nd stage)

 Goal of the class:

–        To facilitate creation of a friendly environment by making students work in groups different from the previous lesson

–        To test the level of the students

–        To teach new vocabulary and correct mistakes while playing the games

–        To practice reading Russian cursive

–        To make students explore the lounge

–        To develop the ability to explain one’s point of view in Russian

Structure of the class:

–        Explanation of the relay race’s rules

–        1st stage: teams read the words and word combinations on the stickers and try to find the respective objects in the Russian lounge (some words are written in cursive which is often problematic to read for foreigners)

–        2nd stage: teams draw the mind maps on the whiteboard, the main word is “University”

–        3rd stage: teams compose word combinations using an adjective and a noun

–        check: finding “wrong” stickers and placing them to the right objects; teams explain their mind maps by telling how this particular word is connected to the topic; teams explain what a particular combination of an adjective and a noun means (for example what does a professional hippo or a hard-working boot mean?)

–        counting points, announcing the winner

 What technology, media or props did you use? (satellite tv, internet resources, playmobiles, etc.)

– (to play Russian music on the background)

 What worked well in this class? What did not work?

Students were really enthusiastic about the relay race. One team was composed of male students while another one – of female students. Probably it made it even more interesting for the creation of a special spirit of competition.

On the 1st stage students had fun placing the stickers on the objects. If they didn’t know the meaning of the word, they tried to guess it discussing it with each other. However, I found out that they did not know pretty many everyday words (household appliances and kitchen utensils). It could be the topic for one of the next lessons. This was a good exercise to make students explore the lounge. They had to find specific books, table games etc. This way they learn what this lounge has to offer. Later they could use those items on their own or suggest to use them during the next lessons.

I noticed that on the 2nd stage students were correcting each other’s mistakes while drawing the mind maps. They also tried to explain them to their partners in Russian which is a really positive outcome of this exercise. Since there were only 2 students in each team they could contribute to their team mind maps at the same time. At this point I found it useful to have felt pens of different colors. As a teacher I could see what the personal contribution of each student. It allow to check the level of Russian of each student.

The 3rd stage allowed students to think creatively in a target language. They had a lot of fun imagining explanations to strange word combinations. However, I encountered the situation of one student having problems in finding the words to explain at least something. That’s why he let his partner explain all 4 pairs of word combinations. It didn’t look like a team work.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

First of all, I would set the exact amount of time students have for the race. One could even project the timer on the big screen. This would make students pay attention to time and to feel that it is indeed a race.

The 3rd stage could be improved the following way. Each combination is 1 point. Each student in a team has the same amount of the word combinations to explain as his team fellows. If he cannot find any explanation (even a trivial one), the team gets zero points. This way each student is motivated to talk.

If you have some time left, you could discuss strategies of each team (what did they do in order to be faster or what did they do if they didn’t know the word). Then you could also discuss the problems they had while playing these games.

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