Think about your daily life before, during and after lockdown

Visit Saint Petersburg with Me! is just one of the stories in our Real Lives Readers Series that gives students a chance to find out about the daily lives of children from all over the world as well as their traditions and culture. This story about Ivan gives plenty of opportunity for on line class discussions as the students can compare their lifestyle with his and other aspects like food, school, the weather, traditions and local legends.

Part 1:  Read the first part, watch the video and answer the questions below

About Ivan Look at the first images on the video and complete the table below





At school he wears:

Good at:


Favourite sport:

First lesson:


12 years old


porridge, tea, eggs and fruit

In winter -25°C

black trousers, a shirt and a cardigan


at the beach


at 9 o’clock


The table above describes what Ivan usually does and you too. Now let’s talk about what you did during the lockdown.

- How did you spend your time when you couldn’t go out?

- Did you have lessons online?

- Did you do any sport at home?

- Can you do sport outside again?

- What did you miss about not going to school?

- What was the thing you missed most when you had to stay at home all the time?

Part 2: About Saint Petersburg, its buildings, monuments and legends.

Watch the rest of the video and discuss the following questions with the class.

- What famous buildings or monuments are there in Saint Petersburg?

- Which monuments bring good luck?

- What do you have to do at each of these monuments for good luck?

- What about your city or town? What famous buildings or monuments are there?

- What do you do for good luck in your country? What is considered bad luck?

Saint Petersburg – The City of Many Names

From 1914 to 1924, this city in the north-west of Russia was called Petrograd, then Leningrad until 1991 and finally Saint Petersburg. It was the capital of Russia from 1713 to 1918 but then they moved the government to Moscow, which then became the capital. However, today Saint Petersburg is still considered the Northern and Cultural Capital of Russia and its historic centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Russians call this city on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, the ‘Window to the West’ and the ‘Window to Europe’. Others call it the ‘Venice of the North’ because the city has a lot of canals and bridges like Venice. Walking around the city, you can see buildings that look European and also typical Russian buildings. This city is also known as ‘The City of White Nights’ because it is very near the polar region so in summer, for a month, it never gets really dark at night. So, there are lots of names for this wonderful city but it doesn’t matter which one you choose – it will always have lots of beautiful things for you to discover.  

Part 3: The State Hermitage Museum during the Lockdown

Since the start of lockdown, The State Hermitage Museum has created virtual tours online. These tours give art lovers the chance to see the wonderful collection of artworks in this museum. However, these tours are not only for art lovers but for everyone. Indeed, maybe with lockdown more people have had the opportunity of ‘visiting’ this museum than usual, thanks to these online tours.

- What do you think of this idea?

- What other things would you like to see online?

The State Hermitage Museum

This museum of art and culture in Saint Petersburg is the second-largest art museum in the world. Every year on December 7, people remember the day the museum was founded in 1764 by the Empress Catherine the Great who needed a place to keep her collection of paintings. It first opened to the public in 1852 and many tourists visit it every year. The museum has six historic buildings, of which five are open to the public. These buildings are home to over 3 million works of art and objects, including the biggest collection of paintings in the world. One of these buildings is the Winter Palace where Russian emperors once lived. The other buildings are called Small Hermitage, Old Hermitage, New Hermitage and Hermitage Theatre. There are so many things to see that people say it would take 15 years to see everything and that’s if you spend only a minute looking at each item!

The State Hermitage Museum virtual tour

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