Project Ripple Effect / Проект Эковолна by Alla Savelieva

created on Jun 12, 2019 modified on Jun 24, 2019 05:51


The project is designed for intermediate Russian learners. It aspires to address the littering problem and lack of sustainability and environmental awareness in Baku, Azerbaijan. In this 3-week course, Russian language students develop an activity book for 7-year olds (2nd grade) of Baku European Lyceum. The activity book aims to encourage sustainability and raise environmental awareness among 2nd-graders in the course of interdisciplinary education. Russian language students create an activity book that teachers of interdisciplinary education can use in class as a supplementary material.

This project was developed during the NLFRC, University of Hawaii's Online Institute on Pragmatics in PBLL (February-March 2018) and  on campus Summer Institute on Pragmatics in PBLL (June 2018). The project aims to incorporate PBLL's key features of a cognitive challenge, emotional engagement, social satisfaction, a good balance of language and content, and personal empowerment. 

In this project, Russian language students practice speech acts  (greetings, requests, and thanking) in a culturally appropriate manner,  analyze sustainability from multiple perspectives, provide solutions to real-world problems, and improve their technology literacy. 

National Foreign Language Resource Center

Language: Russian

Subject Area(s): nature, the environment, education, sustainability

Instructional Context

Heritage Learners:

Audience Location:
All learners are currently residing in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Product Description:
The public product is an activity book (workbook) for Russian speaking 2nd-graders of Baku European Lyceum. They take a course called interdisciplinary education in grades 1-9. The decision to design an activity book for grade 2 is based on the assumption that environmental education should start early and that having learned something, children often share these ideas and/or ask questions at home. The activity book contains tasks that encourage students' critical thinking and focus on recycling, reusing, saving water, caring for animals and learning more about Azerbaijan.

Target Audience Description:
The learners in this project are mostly intermediate Russian learners, who live in Baku. Two of them are Azerbaijani and three – foreigners (Colombia and the USA). The Azerbaijani students have very good listening and reading skills as they grew up hearing their parents speak Russian, watching Russian TV and listening to Russian music. However, they have a high affective filter: they are quite shy to speak. The Colombian student is a lower intermediate learner. She has spent four years working in Baku, taking private Russian lessons, more intensively in the past four-five months. She is focusing on Russian to improve her employment opportunities. One U.S. student is a heritage learner, who moved to the United States at the age of ten. His wife, also a project student, is a complete beginner.

Language Proficiency

ACTFL Scale:
1 4 6

World Readiness Standards


School and Global
Lifelong Learning

Cultural comparisons

Making Connections
Acquiring Information and Diverse Perspectives


Relating Cultural Practices to Perspectives

21st Century Skills

Information, Media, and Technology Skills
Technology Literacy

Interdisciplinary Themes
Global Awareness

Life and Career Skills
Flexibility and adaptability
Social and Cross Cultural Skills
Productivity and Accountability

Project Sequence Overview

Preparing for the Project

1. Project idea development and connecting with project partner - The project preparation more detail

Launching the Project

1. Ice-breaker - The ice-breaker is designed to allow students to introduce themselves to each other in Russian. The students did not know each other before the project started. more detail

2. Gallery walk - Students do a gallery walk where they look at photos of littering in Baku and talk about it. more detail

3. Interview with a community representative - The teacher sits down to talk with a community representative. more detail

4. Huseyn's story - Unscrambling a graphic story (find the correct order of slides) more detail

5. Driving Question - Presenting the driving question and the teacher's idea of the public product. more detail

Managing the Project

1. Photos and reflection exercise - Students reflect on the photos they took. more detail

2. School visit/Lesson observation - Students visit the school and observe a lesson of interdisciplinary education in the 2nd grade. more detail

3. Reading the interview with an environmental education expert from Russia - Students work with an authentic text to learn about environmental education in Russia. more detail

4. Interview with an environmental science professor from ADA University - This is an interview with an environmental science professor, where he talks about environmental education and sustainability in Azerbaijan. more detail

5. Building the learners' profile - Students brainstorm and write down the key features of effective environmental education activities for their future activity book. more detail

6. Email writing - Students write an email to the lyceum teacher. more detail

7. Infographic - Students work with an infographic on decomposing and think of ways to use it. more detail

8. Graphs - Students brainstorm how to use graphs in the activity book. more detail

9. Activity design - Students design activities for the future activity book. more detail

10. Gallery walk - Students transfer their activities on chart paper and give each other feedback. more detail

11. Feedback from an environmental education expert - Students get more feedback from an environmental education expert from Russia. more detail

12. Getting language feedback - To polish their activities, students get language feedback from a language expert. more detail

13. Transferring activities into Google Doc - Student transfer their activities into a shared document on Google Doc. more detail

14. The Public Product - The Public Product more detail


1. Evaluation Week 1 - Students' evaluation of Week 1 activities and self-assessment. more detail

2. Feedback from the lyceum teacher - Students get feedback from the Lyceum teacher of interdisciplinary education. more detail

3. Evaluation Weeks 2-3 - Students' evaluation of Week 2-3 activities and self-assessment. more detail

4. Final presentation - Students give a presentation about their activities. more detail

5. Final reflection - Student write a short reflection. more detail