This unit provides a broad introduction to the Baltic region as well as in-depth studies for each Baltic state. The introductory lesson provides an overview of the history and culture of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well as images, maps, and a variety of class, group, and individual activities.
Throughout history, the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have occupied a crucial strategic, political, and social position between Eastern and Western Europe. Surviving long histories of foreign rule and occupation, all three Baltic states emerged as independent nations by reestablishing their independence in 1991. Since then they have enjoyed many successes, such as acceptance into the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance and the European Union, as well as technological advancements and periods of rapid economic growth.
The introductory lesson provides an overview of the history and culture of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania as well as images, maps, and a variety of class, group, and individual activities.
Lesson Two explores how Estonia transformed from a former Soviet republic with little technology infrastructure into a thriving high-tech society. As a pioneer in the development of e-government and e-services, Estonia serves as a model for wealthier and more developed nations looking to enhance and expand their own technological prowess. This lesson teaches students about the significance of technology in Estonia and how technology has helped develop this small Baltic nation.
Lesson Threefocuses on women's issues and accomplishments in Latvia. In this lesson, students learn about the connection between Latvian women and the "dainas" (Latvian folk songs and one of the most potent symbols of Latvian identity and culture). They also learn about Aspazija, one of Latvia's foremost playwrights, and read an excerpt from The Silver Veil, one of her most famous plays. In addition, students study the life of Vaira Ve Freiberga, the first woman president of Latvia and analyze an excerpt of one of her speeches.
Lesson Four explores how the small country of Lithuania became an international basketball powerhouse and the important role basketball plays in the country's culture and national identity. This lesson begins with an activity matching countries with their national sports. Then, students read an informational handout about Lithuanian basketball and engage in a series of tasks pertaining to what they have learned about Lithuanian basketball. This lesson concludes with a unit debriefing.