Russia Lesson for Kids: Geography & Climate

Instructor: Angela Burke

Angela has over ten years of teaching experience in Special Education, classroom teaching and GT. She has a master's degree in Special Ed with an emphasis in Gifted.

Russia is a very large country with five different geographical zones. In this lesson, discover more about these zones and how the climate changes across them.

Largest Country on Earth

What country has about 100,000 rivers, crosses 11 time zones, and is the largest on Earth? Yes, it's Russia! Russia shares borders with 14 countries and 12 seas. In fact, the land covering Russia is so massive, it would cover the entire planet of Pluto with a little left over.

Because Russia is so large, its geography, or land features, change depending on what part of the country you're in. Russia has five natural geographic zones: the tundra, taiga, steppe, arid, and mountain regions.

Russia also has a diverse climate, which is a long-term weather pattern. The majority of Russia experiences two seasons, winter and summer, with a very short spring and fall. The geographic zones and climate go hand in hand. Let's discover more about Russia's geography and climate.

Tundra and Taiga

Which of Russia's natural geographic zone is home to wild reindeer and has days of complete darkness in the winter? If you guessed the tundra, you're correct. The tundra is the arctic region of Russia, closest to the North Pole. It's too cold for much to grow there.

The Russian tundra stretches from the Baltic Sea to the Bering Strait. This makes Russia a very close neighbor to Alaska. Believe it or not, if measuring between nearby islands, Russia and Alaska are only 2 ½ miles apart!

Located at the top of the world, just below the Arctic, is the taiga. The taiga is a forest region and has many conifer trees, including spruce, fir, and cedar. It is a very cold place to be in winter, and very few animal or plant species live there; however, if you like insects, you'll find millions on the taiga. The insects are often food for birds who like to visit the taiga in the summertime and have their babies there. In the summer, the taiga weather is warm and often rainy. The Russian taiga is gigantic. It is the size of the entire United States.

Siberian Taiga
taiga

Mysterious Desert

If you've visited the western part of Kansas or Nebraska, you know what a steppe is. Steppes are rolling, treeless plains located between tropical and polar regions. The Russian steppe can be found in the southern part of the country. The climate is semi-arid, which means enough rain falls to allow short grasses to grow, but not much else. Winters are cold and summers are warm.

Example of a steppe
steppe

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