Workshop Resources & Lesson Plans

Workshop resources and handouts are developed by CREES experts as supplementary materials for educators who attend our annual workshops or anyone interested in the topic.

CREES Teacher Scholar Lesson Plans are created by teachers for teachers. Whether the subject material is visual arts, history, math, music or economics, Teacher Scholars apply his or her own perspective and teaching experience to create fun and inventive lesson plans based on the information they received at the CREES workshop.

The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito

The Safest Lie is a fast-paced, inspiring account of nine-year old Anna Bauman, one of thousands of Jewish children rescued from the Warsaw, Poland ghetto. The novel’s inspiration is based on the life of Irena Sendler, the Catholic social worker and spy who rescued more than 2,500 children from the Warsaw ghetto during World War II. Her story was little known until four high school students from Uniontown, Kansas wrote a play entitled "Life in a Jar" based on her inspirational work saving children.

Consider a visit to the inspiring exhibit on the life of Irena Sendler at the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, KS. Contact to schedule a tour.

"Educator Resources/Lesson Ideas - Irena Sendler Project and other Great Heroes" This Educator Resource guide was provided by the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas.

Lesson Plans

Lesson 1 - Introduction to the Invasion of Poland and Irena Sendler's Work

Lesson 2 - Chapters 1-7  Discussion Questions Printout

Educator Guide and Activities for The Safest Lie

Author Angela Cerrito's Website and Activities 

Russian Language and Culture Videos for Middle School Students

Lesson 1 - The Alphabet

Lesson 2 - Numbers

Lesson 3 - Russian Phrases and Culture

Russian Language and Culture Videos for Elementary School Students

Enjoy a traditional children's story from Russia, learn fun cultural facts, meet four young people from different regions of Russia (including Volgograd, Tomsk, Vladivostok, and the former Soviet Republic of Kyrgyzstan), and learn to count in Russian! To learn more about each of these fascinating cities, please visit here.

Lesson 1 - Russian Storytime and Culture/Fun Facts from Cities in Russia and Krygyzstan. 

Lesson 2 - Learn the Russian Numbers 1-10


Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin

Breaking Stalin's Nose Book Cover Lesson Plans

 Lesson 1  - Introduction to Breaking Stalin's Nose Differences Between Communism and Capitalism Handout (doc)

 Lesson 2  - Chapter 1-2  | Discussion Questions and Venn Diagram (pdf)

 Lesson 3 - Chapters 3-5 | Discussion Questions (pdf), Analyze the Illustration Worksheet (pdf)

 Lesson 4 - Chapters 6-10 | Discussion Questions (pdf)

 Lesson 5 - Chapters 11-15 | Discussion Questions (pdf)

 Lesson 6 - Chapters 16-21 | Discussion Questions (pdf)

Lesson 7 - Chapters 22-25 | Discussion Questions (pdf)

Lesson 8 - Chapters 26-29 | Discussion Questions (pdf)

Lesson 9 - Chapter 30 | Discussion Questions (pdf)


Interactive Activities on Eugene Yelchin's Website

Capitalism and Communism PDF (Grades 3-5(Grades 6-7)

Liberation, Activism, and the Power of Media (2021)

A professional development workshop for K-12 teachers was organised by the KU Area Studies Centers to explore themes of liberation, activism and the power of the media globally to make connections with current anti-racist movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Experts from the Area Studies Centers at the University of Kansas discussed instances where iconic photographs have documented how people around the world continue to valiantly struggle against oppression. This was through examination of case studies from South Africa, Guatemala, China, and Lithuania.

Resources on "Liberation, Activism and the Power of Media" 


Children of Conflict, Children of Peace (2014)


Trafficking Resources for Educators [PDF]

Human Trafficking Power & Control Wheel [PDF]

Headlines Activity: analyzing world events through lens of the media

Workshop Wordcloud [PDF]


Tactile Turkey (2013)


Patterns of Turkey: Form, Structure & Meaning [PDF] - Terri Erickson-Harper, 
JCCC Graphic Design

Video: Current Events in Turkey: Much Ado About a Turkish Mall, Mike Wuthrich, KU CGIS
For More Info on the Gezi Park Protests [doc]

Turkish Film Suggestions [doc]
Other Recommended Resources [doc]
Caravanserai Country Spotlight: Turkey

Workshop Wordcloud [PDF]



World Environment (2013)



Map: Soviet Environmental Legacy [PDF] - Dr. Shannon O'Lear, KU Geography Department






Red Square and the Russian Search for Identity (2012)

Lesson Plans

Red Square Handout and Questions [PDF] - Dr. Jonathan Perkins, Director of the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center at KU.


Russian Culture at KU






CREES Crossroads Webzine (2011)

Lesson Plans

History of the Cyrillic Alphabet [PDF] - Adrienne Landry, History

Ali and Nino [PDF] - Adrienne Landry, Literature

Identity and Music [PDF] - Adrienne Landry, Music





Music, the Arts, and Migration (2011)

Lesson Plans

Webquesting Around the World: Tuva  [PDF] - Christian Lucy, Geography & Social Studies

World Review Acrostics  [PDF] - Dave Olson, History
Acrostic Sample

Landscape Painting to Music  [PDF] - Heather Olson, Art & Music




Teaching the Silk Road: The Past, Present, and Future of Global Market (2010)


KU Silk Road Website

Lesson Plans

Silk Road Tiles  [PDF] - Bianca Elliot, Art, Geography and History
Where is Your T-Shirt, Blouse or Shirt Produced?  [PDF] -
        Dawn Yonally, Economics and Social Studies
Reading Along the Silk Road  [PDF] - Lisa Healey, Literature and Social Studies
Food for Though: Lunch in Kazakhstan  [PDF] - Renee Sanchez, Social Studies
Students study what made trade work on the Silk Road of the Old World  [PDF] - Richard Wilds, History




Reimagining Central Europe: Transition and Identity (2009)

Lesson Plans

East European Acrostics  [PDF] - Dave Olson, Geography

Introduction to the Velvet Revolution  [PDF] - Bianca Elliot, Geography and History

When Poland Leads Europe: John III Sobieski and Lech Walesa [PDF]  - Richard Wilds, History

Introduction to the Velvet Revolution [PDF] ​ Bianca Elliott, Geography and History





Learning to Negotiate the Peace: International Trade in the 21st Century (2008)


Lesson Plans

Reading International Blogs  [PDF] - Cynthia Rhodes, Social Studies

Intro to China  [PDF] - Dave Olson, Geography

Follow That Coffee Cup  [PDF] - Kathy Ray, Economics and Social Studies

Peace is the Natural Effect of Trade  [PDF] - Michelle Radio and Barbara Turnbull, Economics and Social Studies

Ancient Silk Road & Modern Asian Highways  [PDF] - Richard Wilds, Geography

Economic Pullback  [PDF] - Trudy Ringer, Economics




Art, Politics, and Revolution: The Russian Avant-Garde and the Struggle for Ideas (2008)



Art, Politics, and Revolution: The Russian Avant-Garde and the Struggle for Ideas  [PDF]

E. W. Clowes, Utopia in Avant-Garde Russian Art and Literature, LIST OF INTERNET IMAGES  [PDF]

Lesson Plans

Zulus and Boxers [PDF] ​- Bianca Elliott, History

Images of Power, Oppression, and Protest [PDF] ​​- Ruth Jansen, Art 
An accompanying PowerPoint file is available

The RevoLawrencians [PDF] -​ Angela Perkins, Art

Deconstructing Architecture: A Look at the Avant_Garde in Russian Architecture  [PDF] - Pamela Rohlfing, Art

A Selection of Russian Avant-Garde Art and Architecture 1890-1934  [PDF] - Paul Adams, Art and History

Art and Change: Printmaking [PDF] ​- Catherin Smith, Art 
An accompanying PowerPoint file is available.

World Culture Chairs [PDF] ​- Margaret Rose, Art 

Conflict and Creativity in the Balkans (2007)


Lesson Plans

What to think about the Balkan situation in the 1800s and 1900s  [PDF] - Bianca Elliot, History






On The Air: Host your own Interactive Learning Show! (2006)

Lesson Plans

Special Forces, The Cold War & The Future: How to use Special Forces in History and Current Events in the Classroom  [PDF] - Richard Wilds, History

"Everyone has an Uncle Vanya": Understanding Character Through Mimic Writing  [PDF] - Ken Willard, Literature and Writing

Mongols: Forging a bridge of trade and knowledge between Asia and Europe (2006)


Lesson Plans

Road Mongols [PDF] - Richard Wilds, History

Mongolian Women: Then and Now  [PDF] - Bianca Elliot, Geography

How to Celebrate the 800th Anniversary of the Mongol Empire  [PDF] - Charlotte A. Anderson, Geography

Marvelous Mongolia  [PDF] - Cayetana Maristela, Geography. 
A supplemental Mongolian folktale is available.

Mongol Dynasty  [PDF] - Jay Roberts, History





Cold War Workshop (2005)

Lesson Plans

Astronomy and the Cold War: How the United States Used the Moon to Target the Soviet Union [PDF] - Richard Wilds, History

Kansas in the Movies, the Cold War Period [PDF] - Tatyana Wilds, History and Film Studies

Treasures in St. Petersburg (2003)

Lesson Plans

Face of Russia: Lesson Plans  [PDF] The Power of Architecture, written by Susan Michal, Forest Knolls Elementary School, Silver Spring, MD Grade Level.


Treasures of St. Petersburg curriculum packet is in CD-ROM format and includes color pictures and music.

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