Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Expedition Earth: Russia

I have been lax in posting about our Expedition Earth adventures.  We are still trying to study a country a week to go along with the curriculum.  We have missed a week here and there.  I've tried to add a read-aloud story set in the country we are studying.  That hasn't always worked out for each country, but luckily we had a copy of the book Another Celebrated Dancing Bear which is a FIAR book.  We didn't actually read it five days in a row (we don't often fit in reading our FIAR books five days in a row!) and just read it once.  It is a nice story, but not incredibly engaging (in my opinion).  It did introduce some aspects of Russian culture that we later read about in some library books about Russia.  I would love to say we always do a special project to go with each country, but we honestly don't fit projects in that often.  I feel that I'm doing well if the boys complete their passports, color the flag of the country, fill out the info pages for the country, and can find it on the globe and name its capital.  Anything else is icing on the cake.  For Russia, I'd saved an idea in Pinterest that I wanted to use for an art project.  This project can be found on Art Projects for Kids.  I LOVE how our Russian cathedrals turned out.  I enjoyed sitting and doing this project with the boys and am pleased with how much time they each spent on their drawings.  In an effort to make a full disclosure, I will add that I did not think my youngest would actually complete this project as he was having a rough start to the day.........even to the point of going through two pieces of drawing paper and throwing a crayon across the room.  Yeah.  Loads of homeschool fun in THAT moment.  After a brief (ahem) bit of time spent thinking about things on a chair, he came back to the project with a focus and intensity that both surprised and impressed me.  My older son and I were done and had moved on to other things by the time my little guy got going.  He had requested a larger sheet of paper and wanted to look at the photo of St. Basil's cathedral found in a link in the directions at Art Projects for Kids.  He intently studied the photo and tried to include ALL the details in his drawing, even down to the statues in the foreground and the trees surrounding the building.  Wowza!!  You just never know............

Here are our finished drawings.........

First is mine.............so fun to take the time to sit and do this project.  I don't claim to be an artist, but the process was really enjoyable.

Next up, my oldest son's drawing.  I loved how he labeled the different details of his drawing with the name of the crayon color that he used (thus the "macaroni and cheese" steeples).

And here is my youngest son's drawing of St. Basil's.  CLICK HERE to see the photo he used as a reference.  His detail is really quite remarkable.


  1. Hello,

    They are lovely pictures, well done!

    Please could you give more information about the FIAR method? I have tried Google but couldn't find anything to explain the method and how to use it.

    Many thanks

  2. Hello, Nisreen. Here is a link to the Five-in-A-Row website. They publish a series of manuals that contain activities and projects to do with a variety of published children's books. Most of your questions, I think, could be answered by visiting their website. However, please don't hesitate to ask me if you have more questions. http://www.fiarhq.com/

  3. Hello Laura,

    Thank you for the link. It has given me some information. As I am in the UK it would be very difficult to get hold of the books used from the library. I recall in one of your posts you said any book can be used the FIAR way. What did you mean by this? I would like to know how I can apply the methods to books more widely available in the UK.

    Could you please give further explanation? Many thanks.