Saturday, 13 December 2008

Learning Circle: September-January Session

Our answer for Iran

Komi Republic

The republic is situated to the west of the Ural mountains, in the north-east of the East European Plain. Forests cover over 70% of the territory and swamps cover approximately 15%.
Area: 415,900 km² (160,600 sq mi)
Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NW/N), Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug (NE/E), Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug (E), Sverdlovsk Oblast (SE), Perm Krai (S), Kirov Oblast (S/SW), Arkhangelsk Oblast (W).
Highest point:
Mount Narodnaya (1,894 m)
Maximum N→S distance: 785 kilometers (488 mi)
Maximum E→W distance: 695 kilometers (432 mi

The republic's natural resources include
coal, oil, natural gas, gold, diamonds, and more.
Around 32,800 km² of mostly
boreal forest (as well as some alpine tundra and meadows) in the Republic's Northern Ural Mountains have been recognized in 1995 as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Virgin Komi Forests. It is the first natural UNESCO World Heritage site in Russia and the largest expanse of virgin forests in Europe. The site includes two pre-exiting protected areas: Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve (created in 1930) and Yugyd Va National Park (created in 1994).
Winters in the republic are long and cold, and the summers, while short, are quite warm.

Our Answer for Oman


Kortkeros in Komi language means “iron hill”. Komi language is our national language. Around Kortkeros there are many geographical names, which contain “iron” in them. They say, in old times people extracted iron here. There is a legend about Kort-Aika (“iron men”). They say, he was the first inhabitant of the village. He was a blacksmith and made everything from iron. He was a sorcerer and people feared him. ( Kristina and Natasha)

We live in the north of our country. Kortkeros is located in the south of Komi Republic. Kortkeros is the district centre. The population of our village is 6.000 people. In our district there are 60 villages. Some of them are big, some of them are small. The territory of our district is 19, 7 thou km 2. Kortkeros is located in 44 km from Syktyvkar, the capital of Komi Republic. ( Alisa and P Oksana)

Kortkerosski district is a rural settlement. There for there is not very much work. Mainly people work in agriculture. They grow potatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, carrots. They breed cows, pigs, chickens. Other people work in the forest. They chop down there trees. ( Nikita and Artem)

In our village there is a school. Children study here from to 7-18 years. There are 639 pupils in our school. Some pupils leave school after 9th grade and enter a college. Other pupils finish the 11th class and enter a higher educational institution. In Syktyvkar there are many institutes, a universitie, colleges. ( Anna and Ekaterina)

Our village appeared in 1608. This year we celebrate its 400th anniversary. The celebration took place in different parts of the village. Near the cinema there was a rock concert .On the stadium there were different workshops. It was very hot on this day. A lot of people went to the beach. A large concert began in the evening. Just after the concert in the early morning there was a firework and a disco. (Ivan and Andrew)

Our answer for Korolyov, Russia

What kind of teen problems do you have?
Some teenagers try to reject everything, to rebel against older generation. That’s why there are many groupings that have interest different from those of the mainstream culture.
A few years ago alcohol, fights, murders and other kinds of violence were more problems for adults than for young people.
But how as official reports admit, violence, ALDS, drugs and alcohol are more associated with youngsters. The government surveys show that every fifth teenagers who was arrested for criminal action was younger than 14 and could not be sent to prison. Almost half of teenagers have an experience with drugs, alcohol and sex under age of 16. Many teenagers get upset and even depressed when they are not able to solve their problems. As a result more and more young people believe that there is only one way out - to stop living and commit suicide. Recent surveys show than the number of suicides has grown in our republic, too. They admit that during the war in Afghanistan our republic lost 80 young men and during the recent years 150 young people committed suicide.
Nowadays both adults and teenagers face more and more social problems. And more and more problems are associated with being young. (Alisa)

What do you do in your free time?
I play mini-football. I like it very much. We often go to the competitions. There we play with other teams. (Artyom)
When I have free time I listen to music. I like Doom. My favorite group is Animal Gaz. My favorite song is Three Stripes. I wish they come to Syktyvkar. (Oksana)
When I have free time I walk with my friends. My friends call me to walk on weekends. We walk till 9 p.m. When we go for walks, we sometimes go to the cinema. But when it is cold in the street, I stay at home. (Alisa)
I like playing computer games. My favorite game is GTA San-Andreas. I buy new games very often. But more frequently I take them from friends. I play for 3 hours a day. (Andrey)
In my free time I like to read books. I enjoy reading. I learn much from books. I read books in astronomy, philosophy and academic sciences.(Anna)
I have been doing weight lifting for two years. I go on training 3 times a week. I take part in district and Republic competitions. The competitions start in autumn and finish in spring. We always take the first places. (Pavel)

I like to watch TV. My favorite channel is Sport. There are programs about football. Sometimes I watch hockey matches. (Aleksey)
I like sport. My favorite spot is basketball. I enjoy playing basketball. We often play with other teams from different schools. (Ivan)

How much time do you spend with your families?
My family and I like holidays. We like New Years Day. In the afternoon Mother prepares tasty food. I decorate the New Year tree. The day is good. (Katya)
Each summer we go somewhere. Most of all I like to rest in Adler. There it is a very beautiful nature and it is very warm. In Adler there are a lot of tourists. We always have a good time there. (Artem)
My family and I like going to our summer cottage every summer. There we work in our vegetable garden. Sometimes our relatives visit us there and we do barbe cuing. And have a good rest. (Ivan)
My family and I like to go on barbecuing. We go to the river. I make fire. We listen to music, dance and swim. (Andrew)
In summer, my family and I like going to the beach. On the beach we lie in the sun and get sunburn and swim in the river. Usually we go to the beach in the morning or in the evening. Sometime we organize picnics on the beach. (Aleksey)
My family and I like New Years Day. This is our favorite holiday. We decorate a fir-tree. We make presents. I like New Year fireworks. (Oksana)
My family and I like to go somewhere on holidays. We like to go the seaside. There we rest for two weeks. First we lie in the sun and swim or we simply walk. These are my happiest time. (Alisa)
Every summer my family goes somewhere to have a rest. This year I went to Ukraine. My grandmother lives there. She lives in Kovel. It is a beautiful town. Its population is 100.000 people. (Nikita)
I have a good time with my family. We often go for picnics. We f go together to concerts to Syktyvkar. I like to spend my time with me family. I learn a great deal from them. I like my family, it is very friendly. ( Ksenya)
My family and I like family holidays. My parents organize my and my sister’s birthdays. I help mother to prepare dinner. After, I call my friends. We enjoy ourselves and spend our time very well. ( Anna)

What is your most popular way of communication?
There 12 students in our group:
ICQ -5
Skype -1
QIP -5
Jimm -4
Smape -4
Youth organizations
Some of our teenagers join “Molodaya Gvardia”. They take part in voluntary work, organize different concerts.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Finland. September 2008

Finland. Old and modern . Towns and forests. And lakes...

And here we are: Svetlana, Maria, Elena, Tatiana


In Rantasalmi we exchanged our project works: Finnish toy seal called Toivo went to Kortkeros and Komi doll Masha stayed in Finland. During the school year they will "write" about their life far from their Motherland.


In September we made a project "A view from my school window". The students described the school yard near their schools and then they exchanged their works. The next stage: they read the descriptions from their parther school and drew pictures. And here in Tuusmaki we compared pictures and photoes. Our students are real detectives, they could draw nice pictures not seeing real places.

Warm meetings in Finland

We have met so many nice and friendly people here in Finland.All the way back we spoke about those wonderful days in Rantasalmi, Tuusmaki and Puumala, about the songs we sang together, about those splendid evenings near the lakes and of course about people. We miss you Leena, Helena, Hanna, Meria,Mariaana, Erki, Anneli, Esko, Natalia, Marketta excuse me if I forgot to write your name
Here is a small present to all our new friends - a song "Moscow Evenings". You can find a link on a sidebar


Here in Puumala a Finnish toy seal went to Vorkuta and a yellow rabbit from Kortkeros stayed in Finland. The rabbit got her new name here in Puumala. Now she is called Lemon.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Friday, 25 April 2008


1.What is the climate like where you live?

The city of Xalapa is situated at 1400 meters over sea level. The weather is humid and varied, with a maximum temperature of 30.2 ° C and a minimum of 4-10 in the morning. All the humidity that comes inland from the Gulf of Mexico gets stuck in this zone, so it is often to see a white haze that gives its distinctive mountain environment. Because of this, there is wide and extended variety of plants and trees, where we can distinguish coffee as one of the main agicultural products in the region.
2.What type of houses do people traditionally have in your place? Why do you think houses are like that?

Like a hundred years ago there used to be a lot of constructions with the same style with very high ceilings covered with clay tiles. And very big patios where people used to put the coffee seeds to dry. Nowadays, lots of constructions have been demolished to open the way to modern architecture.
3.What clothes do people wear? (winter- summer clothes; traditional clothes for men-women)

We don’t have extreme weather or religious standards so any type of clothes is valid. In summer you can see people wearing shorts and T-shirts and caps. In winter you need nothing special, but a warm jacket, and sometimes gloves and hats.
Most of the time you see people wearing jeans, T-shirts, and if your job requies it, a suit and a tie.

Each region has it’s own traditional clothes. In Veracruz the traditional clothes are called “Traje de Jarocho” (Jarocho’s suit) as people from Veracruz are called “Jarochos”.

4. What food do they eat? Why? Write a recipe of a traditional dish.

Our food has a rich variety. Most of people include tortillas and beans in their diet. Tortilla is made out of corn dough. You make very thin circles (20 cm diameter) whith the dough and you bake them in special ovens.
As we are so close to the sea coast, you can often see a lot of places offering sea food. Some traditional dishes of the region are “Mole” and “Acamayas”. “Tacos” are very common and can be found in almost all the country.
There are a lot of places which offer international food too, like Italian, Japanese, Chinese, etc.

“Mole” is like a sauce you put over a piece of chicken usually. It is a combination of about 50 different ingredients from which we could mention different types of chilis, chocolate, almonds and peanuts. “Acamayas” are river shrimps served by kilogram prepared in different ways (garlic, chilli, etc.). The base of “Tacos” is the tortilla, and you can put anything on top of it (meat, cheese, etc.).
5.What activities do people do outdoors in your country?

Eco-tourism is very popular in our region as we have a lot of mountains, rivers and beaches. Veracruz has one of the biggest coral reefs in the world.You can do sports like rappeling, rafting, kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, etc. And they can be practiced all year long.
6.The climate can make a lot of problems. Do you have disasters in your country? What do people have to do if there is this kind of disaster?

We are affected by the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico, which is from November to March. We get very strong winds (150 kilometers per hour) commonly called “Norths”. They cause disasters in cities bringing down signs, electrical wires, etc., but the biggest impact is seen in the crops. Strong rain cause floods in the rivers affecting a lot of people that live nearby.
Communities in danger zones are organized and prepared to evacuate in this cases, but still remains the fact that sometimes they loose all their belongings.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Our answer to Belarus

Our museum
In Kortkeros there is the Historical museum. Every day there are excursions there. People come to the museum not only from Kortkeros but also from Syktyvkar.
There are 4 halls in the museum.
The first hall is devoted to the legend about Kort Aika. In the middle of the wall there is a picture “The meeting of Stephan Permski and Kort Aika”. Kort Aika (Iron Man) was a robber who settled on the bank of the river Vychegda. He robbed and killed people. He took a big iron chain and partitioned the river. The boats couldn’t move and people had to give their money or goods to Kort Aika. He was the first blacksmith in our places. All his clothes, dished, tools and even his house were made from iron. Other people say that he was a wizard. He was the enemy of Stephan Permski who baptized people.
There is iron near Kortkeros, people made different tools from it. There are many old things in the hall. There is a tomb slab from iron that was made in 1893.
There is also a picture of Kortkeros that was made in June 1911 before the great fire. A little boy aged 6 played with matches and the fire began. All grown-ups were in the fields. They made hay. It was a strong wind that day and soon many houses were in fire. The shop of a rich merchant was on the bank of the river. He sold gunpowder to the hunters. Gunpowder exploded and the roof of his house went up to the sky and then fell on the other side of the river.

In the second hall one can see clothes and tools of the hunters. In old times people who lived here were fishermen and hunters. They wore special clothes which protected them from cold in winter and rain in autumn. They went hunting far into the forest and couldn’t return home when the night came. So they slept in special huts made in taiga (a thick forest). In the huts there always was firewood, matches and something to eat to anybody who lost his way in the forest. Every hunter had his own area where he could hunt. There stood his hut made of logs to protect him from wild animals: bears and wolves. There was a special hut on legs so that animals couldn’t come into it and spoil his provisions and game. Every family had their special “pas” (a sign that showed who was the owner).
In this hall there is also a weaving loom. In those times people grew flax. They made linen cloth. In winter women made clothes and embroidered special ornaments.
(Olya I., Olya R.)

The third hall is made as a room of a teacher who lived in the 19th century. In the right corner of the room there are icons. In middle of the room there is a table with a samovar. At the window there is a wooden bench. To the left of the table there is a piano. To the right of the table there is a cupboard. There is also a sewing –machine “Zinger”. It was a main part of dowry of a girl.
In this room there is also an old school desk with the deepening for the ink and pens. (Tanya)

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Ohio, the USA

We live in Woodsfield, OH. During the summer we normally wear shorts and t-shirts or tank tops. We also wear summer clothes that have light colors like pastels. During the winter we normally wear heavier clothes because of the cold weather. The colors we normally wear during the winter are blues, whites, black, and gray. During the fall we wear sweaters and jeans because it is the season before winter and it’s starting to get cold. The colors we normally wear during the fall are orange, red, brown, and green. The clothes we wear during the spring are light dresses (for girls), or Capri’s and t-shirts. The colors we normally wear during the spring are floral patterns, pinks, blues, and other light colors. We have a variety of materials that we use in our clothes. Such as cotton, polyester, silk, and many other materials. The traditional clothes for a funeral are suits for guys, or skirts and a nice shirt for girls. The color we normally wear for a funeral is black or gray because it shows that you are in mourning for them. The clothes we normally wear for a wedding depends on what time of the year it is. If it’s in the summer we normally wear dresses for girls and suits or nice pants for guys. If its in the winter and fall then sweaters and nice dress pants for girls and suits for guys. The colors we normally wear for a wedding also depends on the time of the year. If it were in the summer the colors would be pink, green, blue, etc.. If it is in the fall or winter the colors would be blue, white, green, orange, brown, etc.. The traditional clothes we wear to church are dresses and skirts for girls and suits or dress pants and a nice shirt are the regular clothes we wear to church. The traditional clothes we wear to school are jeans and t-shirts it is very casual at school. We wear these clothes for different clothes occasions because those different occasions have a different style and for some you have to be dressed up and others you don’t. The clothes have many different shapes and sizes.

Chelsea Hupp
Hi I’m from Woodsfield, Ohio in the U.S.A. In the winter we can have snowstorms, and they can cause wrecks and no school; sometimes we have floods in Cameron but none in Woodsfield. The climate, in the winter it can be cold, in the summer it is hot. In the fall it starts to get cool. An activity in the fall is football. The cheerleaders wear a skirt and a top that has the name of the team, “REDS”, in our school colors red and black. If it’s cold they will wear cheer pants and a black long sleeve shirt with the same uniform top.
Most boys play this sport and the girls do cheerleading to support the boys. The players have to wear pads to protect their shoulders. In the summer we swim.

Alison Sloan April 14, 2008
History Learning Circle Project
These are some details about houses in Woodsfield, Ohio. Our houses are made from concrete, vinyl siding, wood, and sometimes bricks. There are a few different kinds of houses where we live, trailors, which are mobile homes you can move wherever you want, one story homes with no stairs, and two-story homes which have stairs in them to lead to a different story of the home. We have big backyards because we live in a small town and there are not many houses around. There are also basements under the mail part of the house. Our houses can be on the ground because we don’t have floods where we live, because Woodsfield is on top of a hill. There are also studs in our walls, which hold the house up, brick is also a good material to help hold the house up too. Because, if there was a bad storm high winds it would be better than just having wood, or vinyl siding. The material the house is built out of could cave in, if there was no support in the walls. Also, it would not only protect the house but the people living inside it. I have included some pictures of houses that look like the houses in Woodsfield. This is a picture of a house being built, as you can see this house is made of wood.

Our climate during the summer is usually up to 90 degrees or above. It is very warm.
During the spring it cools down about around the 30s and 40s. You could play softball, ride bikes or even take walks in spring. In winter it can get really cold here. We wear mostly coats, gloves, sweatshirts and scarves. Fall is mostly in between warm and hot. The temperatures can go up to 50 and go as low as 30.
2. What activities do people do outdoors in your country?
In our country you can go to a nearby park and play basketball or swing on the swings. On some of the nice days you could take walks around town or toward the end of summer you could go cheer on our football team, the Woodsfield Redskins!!!
3. Do you have disasters in your country? What do people have to do if there is this kind of disaster?
Yes we do have disasters in our country during the spring sometimes. Mostly floods. People usually just clean up the mess the flood had made and rebuild. (Alanna)

One of my family’s traditional dishes is chili. One of the reasons it is a traditional dish because it was my great grandma’s favorite food so every Sunday we eat chili. Here is the recipe for it
You need
1 pound of ground beef
½ cup chopped onions
1 cans tomatoes
1can of kidney beans drained
½ teaspoon chili powder
1-teaspoon salt
You need to spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Brown the ground beef with onions. And remaining ingredients. Cover the steamer for 2 minute’s, chili serves 6 people. For breakfast we eat pancakes. For lunch we eat pizza.For dinner we eat chili.(Kristen)

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Our answer to Novosibirsk

Streets' names
1. Stephan Permski Street
Stephan Permski was born approximately in 1330s- 1340s in Veliki Ustug. In 1365 he entered St. Georgy's monastery in Rostov. In 1372 he created the first perm alphabet and translated religious books. In 1380 Stephan founded Ust-Vym monastery on the river Vychegda. He died in 1396 in Moscow.
Stephan Permski brought Christianity to komi people.
2. Sukhanovoy Street
Agnia Sukhanova was born on the 23d of January 1884 in the village Vomyn in Kortkerosski district. Since 1915 till 1920 she tought in Kortkerosskaya school. She wrote articles on education in komi newspapers.She wrote plays in komi language for children. She made much for national theatre.
Sne died in September 1925 in Moscow.
3. Lebedev Street

Mikhail Lebedev was born in 1877 in the village of Mezhador. He studied in Syktyvkar. After that he worked as a clerk in Kortkeros. He spent all his life here in Kortkeros.
He began writing novels when he was 13 years old. During his life he wrote a lot of poems, novels and plays.
There are poems about persons from komi legends: «Kort Aika» (Iron Man)‏
«Yag Mort» (Forest Man)‏
M.Lebedev was the first komi poet who was given a medal for his work.

A ballet "Yag Mort" ("A Forest Man")

Shuchin, Belarus

Climate in Belarus
( (Prepared by Tanya Kasperovich, Tanya Komar, Sveta Marmysh, Yuliya Timoshchuk, Veronica Siniysa, Sheygerevich Dasha)

1.What is the climate like where you live?
We live in Belarus. The country's climate is temperate continental because of the proximity of the Baltic Sea (257 meters at the closest point). Winters last between 105 and 145 days, and summers last up to 150 days. The average temperature in January is -6°C, and the average temperature for July is about 18°C, with high humidity. Average annual precipitation ranges from 550 to 700 millimeters and is sometimes excessive.
2.What type of houses do people traditionally have in your place? Why do
In big cities many storied buildings are usually built. Recently rather attractive block of flats have been built.
In villages people live in wooden houses. Many villages are being turned into agricultural towns due to the policy of our government. New cookie-cutters are usually built there
3.What clothes do people wear? (winter- summer clothes; traditional clothes for men-women)
We used to wear sheepskin coats and fur coats in winter. But we don’t do it often now because winters have become warmer. So we wear coats and jackets. In summer we wear T-shirts, skirts and dresses.
4.What food do they eat? Why? Write a recipe of a traditional dish.
It’s a well-known fact that Belarusians are fond of potato. We really like it and grow a lot of it. And, of course our traditional dish is made of potatoes. It’s ‘Draniki’ – pancakes made of potatoes.
4 large raw potatoes, grated.
4 tbs flour.
1/2 tsp baking powder.
2 eggs.
1/2 tsp salt.
Grate potatoes, drain off surplus liquid; add salt, flour, baking powder and eggs. Mix well until all is combined. Cook by heaping tablespoonsful (spread out a little bit with back of spoon) in hot oil in heavy 10-inch skillet. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Remove from skillet, drain on paper towels and keep warm in covered container. Serve with whipped sour cream

5.What activities do people do outdoors in your country? (in summer and in winter)
In summer people like to go for a picnic to the bank of a river, in villages they often engaged in agricultural activities, in autumn they pick up mushrooms. The hardly ever spend much time outdoors.
6.The climate can make a lot of problems. Do you have disasters in your country? What do people have to do if there is this kind of disaster? Please include 2-3 photos on each question
Fortunately, our climate is mild. We never have hurricanes or earthquakes. However sometimes we have small problems. In the last few years we have rather warm winters with practically no snow and temperature above zero. But the level of precipitation of rain in spring, summer and autumn is sometimes very high. This causes the destruction of harvest. Unfortunately, people can do nothing about it.

Wichita,Kansas, the USA

The Climate and People
By: Jadyn, Cobi, and Tony

1. What is the climate like where you live? The climate in Kansas changes depending on the season, Winter- very cold, Spring- gets warmer a lot of rain, Summer- hot, Fall- starts to get colder outside.

2. What types of houses do people traditionally have in your place? Why do you think houses are like that? It really depends on what kind of house the person wants to live in, some people buy concrete or brick houses because they can keep you a lot safer in tornadoes, and some people buy wood houses maybe because their in good neighborhoods, and because they can be cheaper while brick homes are very expensive.

3. What clothes do people wear? Winter- Warmer clothing (heavy coats, jeans/long pants, long sleeved shirts, and mittens/scarves/hats.) Spring- People start to wear clothes for warmer weather (capris, sometimes shorts, t-shirts, etc.) Summer- People wear clothes for the hot weather (Shorts, tank tops, etc.) Fall- People change their wardrobe for cooler weather (jackets, scarves, long pants/jeans, etc.)
Winter Spring Summer Fall

4. What foods do they eat? Why? Write a recipe of a traditional dish.
A traditional dish that we eat would probably be hamburgers. People usually have barbecues in the summer and hamburgers are the most common thing to make. Here is a recipe:
1 pound lean ground beef
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
seasoned salt to taste
Preheat a grill for high heat.
In a medium bowl, lightly mix together the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke and garlic powder. Form into 3 patties, handling the meat minimally. Brush both sides of each patty
with some oil, and season with seasoned salt.
Place the patties on the grill grate, and cook for about 5 minutes per side, until well done.

5. What activities do people do outdoors in your country? People here do a lot of sports. Soccer, basketball, football, track, etc, and in the winter people like to do things in the snow (snowball fights, make snowmen, etc.)

6. The climate can make a lot of problems. Do you have disasters in your country? What do people have to do if there is this kind of disaster? In Kansas we are known for having tornadoes, during this disaster you are to report to your basement or a room without windows until the threat is over.
This what happened to the town in Kansas with the most recent tornado:

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Wichita Project Idea Template

Endangered Animals in our Republic

Cicionia nigra (Black Stork)

These birds are 1 metres tall
They weigh 4 kilograms
They lay 3-5 eggs
They eat small fish, frogs
They live in the forests and marshes
The temperature is +20° in summer and – 20°in winter
Because of deforestation the marshes dry out and the birds die
They make nests on the trees.

Alces Alces (Elks)

Mustela lutreola (Minks)