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Russia and Independent States Project   Tags: 7th grade, independent states, russia, social studies  

Until 1991, Russia and the Independent States were members of the Union of Societ Socialist Republics. With the collapse of its economy, the giant U.S.S.R. broke up into the 15 independent countries that we recognize today.
Last Updated: Sep 29, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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New Nation-States from the Old Soviet Empire:  Will They Succeed?

Exploring the Essential Question: What factors contribute to the success and failure of new nation-states?

1.    Read “The Death of the Great Russian Bear”.  Think about the many changes Russia has experienced.


What is the Commonwealth of Independent States?

Russia- Belarus- Ukraine- Kaxakhstan- Kyrgystan- Tajikistan- Turkmenistan- Uzbekistan- Armenia- Azerbaijan- Georgia- Moldova- Lithuania- Latvia- Estonia


Students will understand: 

-       What features affect the success of a nation-state?

o   Security

o   Political Freedom

o   Economic Growth

o   Quality of Life

o   National Security

-       The world is always changing

-       Empires rise and collapse

-       New nations are born and die

-       How nations gain their independence


Relevant Vocabulary:         nation-states – nation – ethnic group  state - failed state – nationalism – dictators - gross domestic product   life expectancy and infant mortality (percent of population increase) - per capita GDP - literacy rate - percent of population increase - Human Development Index(HDI)

Create a Brochure:  You will select (choose) a country of the C.I.S, research its information and produce a three-part brochure.  Your brochure needs to be colorful and eye-catching.  This project will be an informational brochure for someone planning to visit and/or live in your country.  All of your sources must be cited and properly formatted.  You will follow the MLA 7 with URL format for your Works Cited. (Remember: All pictures must have the URL under the picture and also properly cited, including that URL, on your Works Cited page.)

Your brochure will have six (6) panels.  The back panel will be for your Works Cited.  The remaining five(5) panels will contain the required information arranged as you wish and, any pictures that you may wish to include.

Your brochure will contain the following required information:

1.    colored flag of your country

2.    type of government- leader of the country and his/her title

3.    map of your country

4.    climate

5.    natural resources

6.    the major language(s)

7.    ethnic groups

8.    tourist attractions

9.    quality of life experienced by citizens

10. travel warnings(check US State Dept. website) quality of life.

Answer the EQ:  What factors have played the most significant role in the success or failure of your country?  Write an Informational Essay that explains whether or your country is succeeding or failing with a minimum of 3 reasons why.

Remember:  There are resources on the Library web page you can access ( 

Brochure is due, Thursday February 12, 2015.

GRADING:              Works Cited= 5pts.

Required items- 7pts. each= 70pts

Informational Essay= 25pts.



Citation and Plagiarism Resources on the Internet



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    A collection of databases dealing with all aspects of social studies including US and world history, government, and geography. Also includes how others lived their daily lives throughout history.
  • CultureGrams
    Learn about different cultures from around the world including customs, languages, diet, and much more.
  • Discovering Collection
    Searches reference books for geography & cultures, science, history, literature, current biographies, authors, & the like. Also has a multimedia section with audio, video, & still images, as well as a searchable timeline feature.
  • EbscoHost (Student Resource Center)
    Contains ALL of EbscoHost's full text articles from popular magazines, research periodicals, national newspapers, thousands of biographies, millions of images, and over 100,000 primary source documents.

    Click on Student Resource Center for easiest navigation.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica
    Explore the updated online encyclopedia from Encyclopaedia Britannica with hundreds of thousands of articles, biographies, videos, images, and Web sites.
  • Grolier Online
    Grolier Online is an integrated reference portal. With over 55 million words, 50,000 websites, and several hundred thousand magazine articles, finding authoritative, age- appropriate and subject-specific information is easy. Users have access to award-winning databases, special features, multimedia presentations, an interactive atlas, dictionaries, and much more. Grolier Online provides resources tailored specifically for teachers and students, all contained within a structured and monitored environment.
  • World Geography and Culture
    This database facilitates the study of countries, U.S. states, places, peoples, and geography concepts and skills through a global approach.


  • CIA World Factbook
    Up to the minute information on all countries from your friends at the CIA. Includes geography, populations, government information, and tons of other useful information.
  • Country Profiles - Russia and the Independent States
    Broken down by country and contains multiple links to official websites and general online resources.
  • Lonely Planet
    Search for your country and find information on history, currency, places to see, and other fun and interesting facts.

Commonwealth of Independent States


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Cover Art
Cultural Atlas - Robin Milner-Gulland
Call Number: 947 MIL
ISBN: 0816048347
Publication Date: 2001
Explores the geographical/ethnographic background, and cultural history of Russia and the former Soviet Union, and features a tour of modern-day regions. Includes a chronological table, over forty maps, and illustrations.

Cover Art
Russia - Suzanne J. Murdico
Call Number: 947 MUR
ISBN: 1404229132
Publication Date: 2005
Provides an overview of the history and culture of Russia and its people, covering the land, languages, myths and legends, festivals, religions, art, daily life, education, and foods, and including recipes, maps, and illustrations from primary source documents.

Cover Art
Russia and the Former Soviet Republics - Thomas R. McCray; Charles F. Gritzner
Call Number: 947 MCC
ISBN: 0791081443
Publication Date: 2006-03-01
Presents illustrated overviews of the physical geography, history, population, culture, society, politics, and economy of Russia and the former Soviet republics; discusses the region's future; and includes a chronology and a further reading list. Click on the link above for an eBook version.

Cover Art
Ukraine - Volodymyr Bassis
Call Number: 947.7 BAS
ISBN: 0761406840
Publication Date: 1997
Examines the geography, history, government, economy, and customs of Ukraine, formerly part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Cover Art
The Central Asian States - Cherese Cartlidge; Charles Clark
Call Number: 958 CAR
ISBN: 1560067357
Publication Date: 2001-05-15
Examines the land, people, and history of the Central Asian States, and discusses their state of affairs and place in the world at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

Cover Art
Central Asia - Reuel R. Hanks; Lucien Ellington (Editor)
Call Number: 958 HAN
ISBN: 1851096566
Publication Date: 2005-07-26
Presents an informative guide to the Central Asian states of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and examines a number of political, economic, and cultural issues effecting the region including nuclear and terrorist threats, education and religion, and more.

Cover Art
Georgia - Michael Spilling
Call Number: 947.58 SPI
ISBN: 0761406913
Publication Date: 1997-10-01
Describes the geography, history, government, economy, people, lifestyle, religion, language, arts, leisure, festivals, and food of a Caucasian republic with a turbulent past.

Cover Art
Azerbaijan - Gerald Robbins
Call Number: 947.54 ROB
ISBN: 1590848780
Publication Date: 2006-09-01
Examines the growth and influence of Islam in Azerbaijan, discussing the key economic and political issues facing the country in the early twenty-first century, and including information on Azerbaijan's geography, history, people, cities and communities, and foreign relations.

Cover Art
The Baltic States - Adam Woog
Call Number: 947.9 WOO
ISBN: 9781601526441
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
The Soviet Union occupied the Baltic nations -- Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia -- for decades. This resulted in disasters such as catastrophic shortages of food; suppression of Baltic languages, religions, and customs; and the terrors of forced labor camps. With the Soviet Unions collapse, the Baltics gained independence and have since become vibrant members of the European community.

Cover Art
Ukraine - Gail B. Stewart
Call Number: 947.7 STE
ISBN: 9781601527080
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
No nation is more in the news than Ukraine, a country that has strong ties with both Russia and western countries. This book examines the events that led to Soviet control and the dramatic and sometimes harrowing political, economic, and social changes that Ukrainian people have experiencedboth during the Soviet era and since the Soviet collapse.

Cover Art
The Russian Federation - John Allen
Call Number: 947.086 ALL
ISBN: 9781601526922
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
Whether ruled by a czar, Soviet dictatorship, or today's authoritarian leader, the people of Russia have struggled with a destiny poised between East and West. This book examines the events that led to the Russian Revolution and the dramatic changes political, economic, and social that the Russian people have experienced both during the Soviet era and since the Soviet collapse.

Cover Art
The South Caucasus - Michael V. Uschan
Call Number: 947.508 USC
ISBN: 9781601526502
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
The three South Caucasus nations have battled several problems since independence. All have been involved in territorial disputes based on the ethnicity of their citizens. And all three have significant numbers of people living in poverty

Cover Art
The Central Asian States - Michael V. Uschan
Call Number: 958 USC
ISBN: 9781601526946
Publication Date: 2014-08-01
The five Central Asian States have struggled since becoming independent. The biggest problem is that former communist leaders still govern most of the region. That has resulted in less civil liberty for people and weak economies.

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