Teacher Guide for Online Pysanky

Learn to Write Pysanky the traditional way with beeswax and dyes
for Teachers, Parents and Students

created by pysanky expert Joan Brander
artist • author • instructor • lecturer

proudly presented by
Baba's Beeswax
Discover the Magic of Pysanky


Partners in Education – Online Teaching

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced officials to close all schools to combat the spread of the virus until further notice. Teachers now have to offer alternatives while in-class instruction is suspended.

Baba's Beeswax is pleased to partner with teachers, students (children and adults alike) and parents by providing a ready-made teaching guide on pysanky.

Like you, we know how well pysanky integrates with multicultural and language arts, social studies, math and science for all grade levels K to 12. Whether you're missing your hands-on pysanky egg decorating class you had planned, or are looking for a new educational and entertaining activity, this new teaching aid by pysanky expert Joan Brander is chock full of at-home learning resources. It includes some of our own personal teaching aids developed over 30 years, videos, audio files, and resources.

As you share this by videoconference, Baba's Beeswax will send customized Student Kits of just the essentials to each student. The Student Kit is $22 (includes taxes and shipping) and contains 1 beeswax block, 1 size medium kistka, and 4 egg dyes (yellow, orange, red and black). Additional supplies for other members of a family can also be ordered, if desired.

Contact [email protected], or watch it here.

On this page:

1. Course Outline
2. Lesson Plan
3. Reading and/or Handouts
4. Free Activities and Printables for Kids
5. Access to Resources for Teachers, Students, and Parents
6. Peer Review and References

Saving the world one pysanka at a timeCourse Outline

Title Learn to Write Pysanky the Traditional Way with Beeswax and Dyes
Total Hours 2
Delivery Type Online or Lecture
Prerequisites None
Description Students will learn how to make Ukrainian Easter Eggs at home during school closures using the traditional wax resist technique. They will also learn Ukrainian words relating to these colourful eggs and how to pronounce them correctly.
Learning Outcomes

Upon completion, students will be able to:

  • describe what pysanky are
  • identify the origin of pysanky
  • identify specialty tools used for pysanky
  • identify and pronounce Ukrainian words associated with the activity (pysanky, pysanka, kistka)
  • use specialty tools
  • use candles and melted beeswax safely
  • identify common materials used for pysanky
  • describe and demonstrate the wax-resist technique
Assessment/Evaluation    At the discretion of teacher and/or parent
Teaching Resources

Learn to Write Pysanky the Traditional Way with Beeswax and Dyes, a presentation by Baba's Beeswax for Teachers and Students ©2020

Trilingual Student Practice Sheets – by J. Brander ©2016, in English, French and Ukrainian features symbols and their meanings. Download (pdf)

Required Tools and Materials  

Specialized tools available from Baba's Beeswax

  • beeswax
  • kistka
  • dyes

Common items from home

  • eggs – empty or raw
  • a candle (taper preferred to tea lights)
  • a pencil
  • kleenex tissue
  • paper towels
  • vinegar
Course Development Created by pysanky expert, Joan Brander
Date April 10, 2020

Saving the world one pysanka at a timeLesson Plan

Students will use the language of symbolism in color and design to create a story on an egg. Symbols are repeated to create a design. This Lesson Plan introduces a geometric star, with eight points, which is one of the oldest traditional Ukrainian designs. It's called a "star rosette". The variety of interpretation of the star rosette has no limits.

  • Lesson Plan for Teachers – by J. Brander ©2006, a guide for elementary grades to be used with Student Practice Sheet; features background, defined terms, instructions, diagrams. Download (pdf)
  • Student Certificate of Achievement – full colour certificates with place for student name, teacher signature and date, describes the technique, tools used, how to protect and display, a legend of pysanky and more. 8-1/2" x 11". Download (pdf)

Saving the world one pysanka at a timeReading and/or Handouts

  • Raw Eggs vs Empty Eggshells – Tips and Hints from Joan Brander ©2020, compares the properties of two types of eggs to use. Download (pdf)
  • Fire Safety Fact Sheet – Tips and Hints from Joan Brander ©2019, guidelines for everyone who writes pysanky using a candle and traditional kistka Download (pdf) 

Saving the world one pysanka at a timeFree Activities and Printables for Kids

Pysanky 4 Fun : A Collection of Trilingual Activities 4 Kids – by pysanky expert Joan Brander. Compiles various trilingual activity sheets into one compact publication. These Activity Sheets were previously downloaded or ordered individually. Teachers can photocopy for classroom use to enhance and enliven instruction on pysanky. Can be printed on 8-1/2" x 11" paper, double-sided. Download (pdf). Activities include:

  • Symbols and Their Meanings (English)
  • On s'amuse avec Pysanky (French)
  • Pihsahnkih dlya Zadovolennya (Ukrainian)
  • Pysanky Party to colour
  • Scrambled Pysanky Egg Words
  • What would Guy Kistka say? write a story
  • Crossword Puzzle of pysanky terms learned


Saving the world one pysanka at a timeAccess to Resources for Teachers, Students, and Parents

  • babasbeeswax.com for supplies, kits, books, resources and free handouts
  • What are pysanky and how are they made?
  • 6 episodes of Pysanka Power Podcast by pysanky expert Joan Brander cover the history, legends and symbolism of pysanky. On the practical side, there's tools and techniques, hints, tips and DIY projects to talk about. Available wherever you listen to podcasts
  • YouTube channel from iluvpysanky of Pysanky How To's and DIY, Book Previews, Fun Stuff and more
  • YouTube video from Euromaidan Press – How to make Ukrainian pysanka Easter eggs
  • wikipedia - pysanka
Saving the world one pysanka at a timePeer Review and References
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