Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin, A Newbery Honor Book

Rated 5 out of 5, based on 3 reviews
3 Ratings
Kids Wings
Grade Levels
5th - 8th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Zip
160 pages
Share this resource
Report this resource to TPT
Kids Wings

What educators are saying

This was just what I was looking for to go with the novel. My son enjoyed the book and the activities included in this resource.


BACKGROUND: Russia was in transition after the Bolshevik Revolution, led by Lenin and Joseph Stalin. Under their iron hand, Communism was replacing the reign of the murdered Czar. Then, after the death of Lenin, Stalin took charge, and life became even more difficult for ordinary citizens who were led to fear unseen spies and terrorists. They lived with hunger, were arrested without cause, and before the end of Stalin's 25 year rule, between 20 and 40 million were killed.

THE STORY: What if you had been a child in Russia during that time?

2nd grader, Sasha Zaichik was proud of his father, a member of Stalin's secret police who could unmask disguised enemies that infiltrated the borders of the Soviet Union. Unaware that it was propaganda which provided his security all of his life, Sasha's goal was to someday be a member of the Young Pioneers and serve his beloved leader, Stalin. He had learned all of the laws of the Young Pioneers. He knew their salute. He was honored as a ideal student. Tomorrow, that dream would come true. He would become a Young Pioneer.

Instead, his world turned upside down.

Told over a period of only 2 days of Sasha's life, his story reveals what it must have been like for youngsters and families during Stalin's reign. As the story's contrasting Communism with capitalism, readers are inspired to learn more about their own government's Constitutional Republic that protects citizens from such tyranny and encourages ownership of property.

THE AUTHOR: Author Eugene Yelchin writes with the authority, experience, and emotion of one who lived in Stalin's Russia. His Author's Notes clarify more detailed history. Breaking Stalin's Nose will transport your students into history and stimulate their patriotism, making them thankful to be strong, talented, and secure Americans! Its illustrations help to make it more accessible to younger students. Its simplicity and emotion makes it a profoundly important work of literature for grades 4-12 and adults.

THE LITERATURE GUIDE: The Kids' Wings literature guide invites group discussion, problem solving, research, writing, skill building, and authentic writing prompts, interactive multiple choice evaluation, and a culminating interactive tests and a Jeopardy-type game. Teachers who want students to enjoy the very best of historical fiction that pulls the reader into history through a compelling story will make this book part of their classroom libraries. The 51-page Kids Wings literature guide and 53-slide Jeopardy-like interactive game for Breaking Stalin's Nose provides multiple layers of activities, group projects, skill building, and research into historical documents that provide the foundation of our own government.

ACTIVITIES IN THE GUIDE: Activities in the Breaking Stalin's Nose Literature Guide by Suzy Red include:
For the Teacher: Background Building;
Memory Cards for Capitalism and Communism;
The Capitalism Song;
Preview the Song:
Pre-reading Discussion Cards;
Anticipation Guide;
15-Second Summaries;
Where in the World, Europe before World War II Map Study;
Europe Today;
2-page Readers’ Theater Introduction;
Dialectical Journal;
Character Studies;
Chapters 1-5, Vocabulary and Prediction Questions;
Evaluating Comprehension, Ch. 1-2;
Interactive Slideshow Questions, Chapters 1-2;
Interactive Multimedia Slideshow Evaluating Comprehension in Chapters 3-5;
Crossword Puzzle;
Chapters 6-10, Vocabulary and Prediction Questions;
Evaluating Comprehension, Chapters 6-7;
Visualizing Chapters 7-10:
Chapters 11-13, Vocabulary and Prediction Questions;
Evaluating Comprehension, Chapters 11-13;
Evaluation of Sasha's Teacher, Chapter 13;
The Research Song;
Comparing Soviet Law with American Law, Research and Presentation;
Why I don't have to live in fear, a research report;
Chapters 14-17, Vocabulary and Prediction Questions;
Visualizing the Text, Chapters 14-17;
Chapters 18-22, Vocabulary and Prediction Questions;
Evaluating Comprehension, Chapters 18-20;
Visualizing and Explaining the Text, Chapters 21-22;
Chapters 23-27, Vocabulary and Prediction Questions;
Evaluating Comprehension, Chapter 23;
"The Nose"
Discussion and Writing, Chapters 24-26
The Principal of the Thing: Everyone Is Defined by Fear, A Logic Puzzle;
Discussion and Writing, Chapters 27-28;
Evaluating Comprehension, Chapters 29 and 30;
A Tense Situation (transforming verb tense);
Exploring Historical Fiction;
Writing Prompts;
Answer Pages

Also included is a BONUS 53-Slide Interactive Jeopardy-type Game in PowerPoint
An Interactive PowerPoint Test for Chapters 1 and 2
AND a Multimedia Test for Chapters 3-5 in PowerPoint

PLEASE NOTE: Kids Wings materials are written by highly experienced master teachers. We hire professional proof readers who are also master educators. We do our best to be sure each of our literature guides is top quality and error free, and classroom tested, but if you think we can do better, we welcome your input. If you find an error in our materials, please email us at so we can make corrections. After it is corrected, we will invite you to download a newly polished copy and will probably attach a surprise to our reply as a thank-you!

If you like our materials, we would be very grateful if you let us and others know!
Total Pages
160 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
2 Weeks
Report this resource to TPT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TPT’s content guidelines.


Questions & Answers


TPT empowers educators to teach at their best.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up