Russian for beginners: Fairy Tales and Poems

On this blog I am going to explain some of the exercises I give to beginner students. These lessons are fun for students and help to embed some basic vocabulary into their minds.

The Six Thinking Hats

This exercises are based on the “Six Thinking Hats” by Edward-de-Bono

I set down the rules of the game. I read aloud the fairytale “Little Red Riding Hood” in Russian. I give each student a hat of different colour. Each colour represents a different mood or tone. After my reading, each student has to tell the story with emphasis corresponding to the colour of the hat:

White Hat – tell the story with focus on information, facts
Red Hat – tell the story with emotion and feeling
Black Hat – tell the story in a sad way with element of negative
Yellow Hat – tell the story in a logical and positive way
Green Hat – tell the story with new ideas and creative thinking
Blue Hat – tell the story in a commanding way/bossing

Also I encourage the students to use any Russian words they remember from my reading the tale. This creates a friendly and fun atmosphere, motivating students to express the tale in their mood and also to remember and repeat some Russian words.

This training takes me 15-20 minutes but it introduces to Beginner students some key words in Russian.
For example: from my long years of practice most of students remember those words
Nouns: Шапочка, бабушка, пирожки, корзинка, волк, уши, глаза, рот
Adjectives: Красная, большая
Verbs: Пошла, пришла, принесла, открыла

By listening to the students who had previously had their turn, students even remember more Russian words. The vocabulary from this lesson forms a basis for the next lesson.

Ivan Krylov: Russia’s best-known fabulist

This method of teaching for Beginners using a tale which students know well from childhood and combined with the ‘6 Thinking hats’ helps to cement some basic Russian words into their mind.

To help develop vocabulary I successfully use Ivan Krylov’s poems. Krylov is Russia’s best-known writer of fables, a lot of them featuring animals and their conflicts, which he uses to draw out morals about people and their relationships.

That is why I use Krylov’s poems. They are short and witty and fun to read. Krylov cleverly represents human situations through animals, and each poem ends with a moral. It takes me 7-10 minutes but adds fun to the lesson.

Please read my next post and if you would like to take lessons with me contact me.