Russian Star Ornaments

Russian Star Ornaments lesson plan

Craft a traditional paper ornament that was popular in old Russia. Trim holiday trees with these international Christmas symbols for a new look!

  • 1.

    During a discussion of winter holidays, ask students how they picture Christmas. What does your family traditionally eat on Christmas Eve? How do you decorate for the season?

  • 2.

    During a unit of study focused on Russia, have small groups of students work together to investigate a traditional Russian Christmas. How did the Russians celebrate? What types of decorations did they display? What unique foods did the Russians prepare? Organize a variety of text and electronic resources for students to view during this research.

  • 3.

    Invite students to create a Russian-influenced holiday ornament. With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, students sketch a large star on a recycled file folder.

  • 4.

    Color in the star with the bright colors of Crayola Gel Markers and Metallic Colored Pencils. Cut out the star with Crayola Scissors.

  • 5.

    Color in the star with the bright colors of Crayola Gel Markers and Metallic Colored Pencils. Cut out the star with Crayola Scissors.

  • 6.

    Students cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. Paint a wooden dowel or chopstick with gold Crayola Premier Tempera Paint. Air dry.

  • 7.

    Attach stars to the golden stick with Crayola School Glue. Lay flat to air dry.

  • 8.

    Decorate Russian Start Ornament with ribbons and Crayola Glitter Glue. Air dry flat.

  • 9.

    Students wave stars across the sky. To trim a Christmas tree with it, stick the wooden wand into the branches.


  • LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences. MATH: Understand that attributes belonging to a category of two-dimensional figures also belong to all subcategories of that category.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.


  • Possible classroom resource includes: The Miraculous Child: A Christmas Folktale from Old Russia by Alan Alekski Currier
  • Students research the Russian Orthodox Church and the orthodox calendar that celebrates Christmas 13 days after Christian churches. Why do they follow a different calendar? Are any other holidays celebrated at a different time than that of the Christian calendar?
  • Students research celebration activities in old Russia, during the Soviet period with a New Year's focus, and currently during the "Russian Renaissance." Students discuss reasons why this holiday observance changed during the various time periods.
  • Investigate what "mumming" is, including its costumes and clowns. Research any activities in your country, such as the Mummers' Parade on New Year's Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Encourage students to investigate the traditional foods that are served as Christmas fare in other parts of the world. Invite students to bring in recipes for each of these foods. Create an international recipe book with the compiled recipes.