Learning with art and math about the buildings of Russia

It is time for another Around the World lesson, with a stop this month in Russia.  If you are interested in learning more about the language, culture and how to teach your children about it, you have found the right place.  We even have a guest post about Russian food over at Mama Smiles, stop on by to learn more! 

For this lesson,  I wanted to incorporate art, math, geography, and FUN.  Inspired by a local sidewalk chalk art festival, the kids and I did a little research on the famous Russian buildings.  The colorful domes of Saint Basil (more info here on the Kremilin and Red Square area) inspired the children!

It was time to grab our brand new box of sidewalk chalk and head outdoors!

We printed an image of Saint Basil and I used a permanent marker to gird 1" x1" squares across the printed picture.  I cut the extra off so that all we had was the picture with the grid to look at.  We then got to work making a larger grid on our driveway.  As you can tell, I much prefer assistance than perfection!  We couldn't find the yard stick and settled for using a left over piece of shelving and non-standard units of measurement (I counted the holes in the metal and divided by 6, because that is how many squares I needed)
Then, using the grid (the one in yellow) that I drew (kids in upper elementary school and older can do this on their own!) I started to sketch the basic outline, starting at the lower left corner. Don't worry if it doesn't look pretty - as you can tell, mine didn't!
 Start adding colors.  Chalk is messy, so wear some play clothes and rub it in when you have the color you want in the place you want it. (otherwise, the chalk just blows away)  You can blow on a little section to see what I mean!
 Older kids can help fill in the colors.  Teach them how to look back at the grid and figure out which square in the big grid corresponds with which square on the little grid.  (Now we are getting into some really advanced mathematical terms that I can't even remember - help!) Little ones will still be little ones!  They want to help too.  Although this activity is geared for kids ages 4 to adult, littles can help fill in big areas (like the tree or sky)  They can also just add whatever they want to add and you can work it into the drawing!  As I said before, I like participation and not perfection!
 And this is a project even I couldn't resist helping to color in!
 The more chalk and colors that are added, the more the building begins to take shape.  Although Saint Basil Cathedral is an iconic symbol of Russia, has historical significance, and beautiful colors, there are many other buildings to choose from for this activity.  If you have 2 older children, they may want to try draw 2 different buildings.  Maybe even invite some friends over for a playdate and have different groups work on different buildings!  I would love to see kids at school try this too!  How neat would it be to see a bunch of buildings from Russia scattered on the sidewalks and driveways!

Happy Learning!

14 comments:

  1. This would make a fabulous homeschool coop activity!

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  2. What a fabulous activity! The wonderful part is that everyone can tailor their current country or even state to create this fun hands on learning activity. Thank you for sharing this idea!

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    1. You are very welcome. I am sure you could even tackle state or country symbols too! Buildings just seem easier to draw! If you do one, please share with us. I love to see what others have created!!!

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  3. This is a fantastic post! I am getting ready to present at a homeschooling expo and the subject of my presentation is "Young math: Grids". Your story is a great example and I'd love to reference and if possible, feature it on my math blog - MoebiusNoodles. Could you please e-mail me at yelena@moebiusnoodles.com about this?

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    1. You are so sweet! Of course you may use and share it! The more kids learning outside with math and art, the better (in my opinion!) I sent you an e-mail too!

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  4. I remember doing this in junior high, and having a hard time with it.

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    1. I remember doing the grid too in Jr High, but it was with faces. Buildings are SO much easier to tackle!

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  5. What a great idea! My little boy would love that!

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  6. What a great way to bring learning outdoors! It turned out so well! Thank you for sharing at The Outdoor Play Party, and I hope you come by to share tomorrow.

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  7. This post is perfect for the Monday Kid Corner Weekly Linky Party. The next party goes live Sunday morning and this week’s theme is SIDEWALK CHALK. Be sure to brush off those archives as well and link them up at http://thejennyevolution.com/category/linky-parties/monday-kid-corner/ See you there! Jennifer

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  8. That is a very cool way of drawing buildings! Thanks for sharing the link :-) I may have to wait until spring to try something similar here in England but that'll give us plenty of time to plan what we want to draw!

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  9. Wow! What a cool idea! Thanks for sharing at After School!

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  10. The brightest driveway ever! I love this project and how it brings everybody together!

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