Catherine the Great (1729 – 1796), eventually became ruler of Russia. At her birth, no one could have predicted that is where she would end up, but against all odds, she was destined for the throne. This video does a great job explaining this woman to kids. It uses vocabulary that is easy to understand, and the topics discussed are appropriate for all ages. The illustrations used are lovely as well.
I recommend this video when maybe the class needs something to help calm them down or relax. The idea behind this type of video is to be like a bedtime story, so it is slower-paced and uses more relaxing music.
After watching this video, you could have students create a journal pretending to be Catherine the Great. I would give them an outline or timeline of the major events in her life. The students (either individually or working in a group) could write a journal entry for each of those events. This is a great way for students to practice writing and empathy.
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