Class theme/topics discussed:
Праздник Крещения. Святки. (Epiphany and the tradition of Sviatki in Russia.) Predicting future – good or bad?

How did you pick this theme or topic?
In Russia January 19th is the day when people celebrate Epiphany, a holiday widely celebrated not only by truly religious people, but by many others who follow the special traditions of this day.

How did you present the material? (handouts, group work, general discussion, student presentations, etc.)
Handouts, general discussion, work in pairs.

How did students react?
They found the topic interesting since none of them were familiar with the discussed traditions.
Did they engage with each other and you?

What materials or media did you use? (articles, satellite tv, digital projector, etc.)
Please attach a copy.

Lesson 2_ Jan 20_Text (Epiphany)
Lesson 2_Jan 20_Sviatki

Would you recommend this activity for a future class? Why or why not?
Definitely yes. It introduces students to important cultural knowledge and new vocabulary.

Intermediate Russian
Lesson 2
January 20, 2011

Before the class put up the picture on the board (ice-bathing for the day of Epiphany). Students will get curious about what it is when they come to class, but don’t tell them anything.

1. News of the day.

2. Expression of the day on the board:

Сколько лет, сколько зим!

First work with the words «лет» and «зим» – ask the students to define the case of these words and then to put them in Nom. Sg. and Pl. (they should be able to deduce this by this time).
Explain the use of the root «лет» – in words ЛЕТО (summer) and in the archaic word ЛЕТА (or ЛЕТЫ – as years). Tell them that a new year in Rus’ used to start in the end of summer, etc., that is why years were counted by summers. Now they can see this relation in Genitive Plural for ГОД, which is ЛЕТ. (don’t spend more than 5 minutes on that)

3. Photograph on the board:

Ask them to look at it and try to guess what is happening. Write ЧТО ПРОИСХОДИТ? on the board above the picture. Let them all suggest something, then turn to the text.

4. Text: Lesson 2_ Jan 20_Text (Epiphany) — divide students in two equal groups, group one gets text 1, group two gets text two. (Handout “Epiphany text”)
They work on the text on their own, then ask each other questions that they have at the bottom of the handout. (i.e. groups share with each other what they have just read about)

Ask each group to choose three words in their texts that they find the most useful and write them with translations on the board.

Discussion: хотели бы вы попробовать окунуться в прорубь? Если бы вы были родителем, вы бы окунули своего ребенка в прорубь – как человек на фотографии?

5. Tell them that January 19th is the end of the period called Святки. Distrubute the handout “Sviatki”, one or two students read out loud. Lesson 2_Jan 20_Sviatki
Kакой американский праздник напоминают Святки?
– Хотели бы вы погадать и узнать свое будущее? Почему да/ нет?