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.

    How do you picture Christmas? What does your family traditionally eat on Christmas Eve? How do you decorate for the season.

  • 2.

    Russia has deep snow and cold weather, which for many people is traditional for Christmas. In old Russia, Russian Orthodox religious beliefs were often mixed with European customs and folk traditions. Russian people fasted to prepare for the occasion. They ate foods that symbolized different parts of the Christmas story. Straw or wheat covered the dinner table to remember Christ's birth in a stable. On Christmas Eve, Russians ate kutya, a porridge made from wheat berries, honey, poppy seeds, and raisins.

  • 3.

    In pre-soviet Russia, Christmas trees were decorated with homemade ornaments. Often fruit, such as apples or oranges, was hung on the tree. Walnuts covered in silver foil and paper chains were also hung from its boughs. Star ornaments were another popular decoration. Here's how you can make your own.

  • 4.

    With Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, sketch a large star on a recycled file folder. If you need to make changes in the design, just erase and start again.

  • 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.

    Cover your art area with newspaper. Paint a wooden dowel or chopstick with gold Crayola Premier Tempera and a Crayola Paint Brush. Air dry.

  • 7.

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

  • 8.

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

  • 9.

    Wave your star across the sky. To trim a Christmas tree with it, stick the wooden wand into the branches.


  • Students research Russian Orthodox Christmas traditions in pre-soviet Russia and in other parts of the world.
  • Students create a handcrafted ornament in the style of old Russia.


  • Research why the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates Christmas 13 days after the Christmas in other Christian churches.
  • Older students compare how Christmas was celebrated in old Russia, during the Soviet period with a New Year's focus, and currently during the "Russian Renaissance." Discuss the reasons why this holiday observance changed during different time periods.
  • Older students read passages from Tolstoy's War and Peace that recount Christmas in old Russia.
  • Find what "mumming" is, including its costumes and clowns. Research any activities in your area, such as the Mummers Parade on New Year's Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • Find out what foods are traditional Christmas fare in other parts of the world. Prepare them and invite families to taste the traditions.