Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg Extension Activities

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Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg
Extension Activities

Holiday Celebrations

While visiting the Fabergé: From a Snowflake to an Iceberg exhibition, students learned that the most important seasonal celebration for the Russian Orthodox Church is Easter, and that the egg is a symbol used to represent the holiday. Assign students one of the religions from the list below to research. Students should discover which celebrations are of major importance to the religion, any symbols that are linked to the celebration, and explain any traditions that its followers continue to keep today.

Buddhism Christianity Confucianism

Hinduism Islam Judaism

Trusting the Workmasters

Fabergé’s workmasters were the best of the best, but he still needed to be able to instruct them and put a certain amount of trust in them. In this activity, students will work on refining teambuilding skills as they take on the role of Fabergé directing his workmasters.

Working in pairs, one student will play the role of Fabergé, while the other is responsible for realizing his vision. With students sitting back-to-back, one will be given a printed image of a Fabergé piece from the hall. The other student will have plain white paper. The first student will then instruct the second on the design of the object. Encourage them to be detailed so that the “workmaster” can draw a product as close to Fabergé’s idea as possible. Once finished, the students will switch roles.


The students learned that during the Russian Orthodox Easter celebration, it was traditional for followers to exchange Easter eggs.

Ask the students to think about what traditions they follow with their families. Then, tell the students to choose one family tradition that has been handed down for generations and write a journal entry about the tradition. It can be anything such as birthday celebrations, gift giving, etc.

Language of the Fans

Within the exhibit, students filled out a chart describing the secret, aristocratic language that was spoken using only fans. In class, students will use paper, crayons, and other materials to create their own fan, using their sketch from the exhibit as a guide. Then, working in groups, students will create their own language using the fans as their means of communication. In this case, their language should be concerned with giving people directions. They will use the following chart:



Go left

Go right

Go straight

___ steps


Once the chart is finished, students will create a scavenger hunt. One person in each group will be given an egg to hide. After the egg is hidden, that person will be responsible for using their fan to direct their group mates to the egg. Once found, a new student will hide the egg.


Within the Fabergé exhibit at HMNS there was a genealogy chart, tracing the royal families in Europe. Using the internet, student families, and other resources, have students research their own genealogy. See if they are able to create a family tree that goes back at least five generations. The family tree should include birthdates, death dates, and images of either the person or a drawing of something that represents the person.

*Note: If a personal family tree is too sensitive for some students, ask them to look up any European royal family and create a family tree for their chosen royal family. (Example: House of Romanov, House of Windsor, House of Grimaldi, House of Bernadotte, etc.)

What Causes a Revolution?

The Romanov reign ended in 1917 with the Bolshevik Revolution. Discuss with the class the mood of the Russian people during this time period. Explain that there was a change in attitude towards the Tsar and his young family. Historians contribute the fall of the Romanovs to the Tsar’s behavior towards his people, as well as to economic, political, and social changes. Divide the class into four groups and ask each group to research one of these causes. They should be prepared to argue why their assigned reason was the main cause for the end of the Romanov rule in Russia.

Stone Materials Made Beautiful

Students will refer to the stone materials chart they completed in the Knowledge Hunt. Ask them to choose their favorite stone material based on the objects they saw in the exhibit. Instruct the students to research their chosen stone material to discover how it is formed and where it can be found on the globe. Tell the students to draw a sketch of a new object using the stone material they researched. Ask the students to include the information they learned on their sketches. Display the drawings around the room.

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