lesson plans
P E R S O N A   P R O J E C T

written by Betsy Sandstrom, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology, Alexandria, VA

Grade level: High school; this is a good activity for Russian language classes.


  • The Face of Russia—all 3 episodes
  • Print and Internet sources of Russian history

To understand the role and influence of the major political, literary, and artistic figures in Russian history and in present-day Russia.


  1. Each student will prepare a written and oral presentation about a well-known person from Russian history or from present-day Russia. Students may choose from those featured in The Face of Russia or from another source.
  2. Students spend 3 class periods doing research in the library.
  3. A written report is due from each student 2 weeks after doing the research. This report should include everything that will be said in the oral presentation. (If written in Russian, the presentation should be one page long.)
  4. The teacher will evaluate the reports and give them back to the students before the oral presentation.
  5. Two days prior to the oral presentation, students turn in a summary. The teacher makes enough copies for the entire class.
  6. In the oral presentation students should focus on the characteristics and accomplishments that make their “personas” outstanding. Students are encouraged to use props or support materials such as visuals, costumes, maps, timelines, or dramatizations in their presentations. The class is permitted to ask questions of the presenter.
    NOTE: The length of the presentation is 2-5 minutes if done in Russian, longer if in English. Notecards are to be used only as occasional reminders; the report is not to be read!
  7. A short-word answer test is given based on the oral presentations. Students can use the summary sheets (see step 5) to review and study.
  8. Suggested grading (total value is 100 points):
    • 35 points for written presentation (including the summary)
    • 35 points for oral presentation
    • 30 points for the test

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