Exploring the raiders and settlers of about AD900

Pupils will be introduced to the Viking period, how long ago it was and where it relates to, with emphasis on the locality of the school.

They will look at “how we know” about the past including archaeology and the historical record. They will examine the term 'Viking' and be encouraged to question some of our preconceptions of Viking life. This will empower them to think of ideas of their own.

Through questions about what Viking people were like, pupils will be led to empathise with them. They will get to know our character, Kari Thorbjornsonnr, and have the opportunity to explore his sea-chest of personal belongings. Each child will have the opportunity to examine a number of replica artefacts with encouragement to draw, measure and analyse each. They will get a growing picture of the function of Viking artefacts, their materials, manufacturing techniques, technology and relative value. This will give them an insight into the life of our character and of his environment including the people he has contact with.
Duration 1 hour

Optional activities include:

Clothes and fashion - pupils will explore Viking clothes. This is an opportunity for some to model replica costume. This session encourages thought about who made the clothes, and the difference between function and aesthetics of clothes and jewellery. Comparison is made between 'then' and 'now'.
Duration 30 minutes.

Food, drink, farming and feasting - the why, what, when and how of Viking eating. Pupils will compare what they eat now and what they would have eaten then. They will learn how food was produced, moved around, prepared and eaten. They will learn how the seasons were important and how communal feasts were an opportunity for fun.
Duration 30 minutes.

'The Body in the Sand' - This is our interactive grave. Pupils will role-play archaeologists examining the evidence of a body with artefacts. Guided to investigate the artefacts they will use replicas to fill in the gaps and reconstruct a Viking boy from the grave.
Duration 1 hour

Gods or God? - pupils will hear stories of Viking gods and look at evidence of how they were worshipped. They will think about how the coming of Christianity was sometimes seen as a threat and sometimes embraced? Pupils will look at how Christian doctrine was adopted through the symbolism the traditional Norse stories.
Duration 30 minutes.

Warfare - the excitement of weapons of war is exploited to ensure pupils understand how war and warriors fitted into Viking culture. The brutal design and function of the weapons will be demonstrated. Pupils will be able to experience the feeling of standing in a shield wall and compare the slash of a sword to the thrust of a spear. Works best with access to the school field.
Duration 30 minutes or 1 hour.

Viking games - we will show how the fun of playing board and chasing games was related to battle tactics. Pupils will play various games, including 'king-he' a chasing game if space allows. They will be able to make a 'three men's morris' set to keep. Duration 1 hour.
Duration 1 hour.

Story time - a good wind down activity with great potential for follow up artwork. Pupils will be enthralled by an exciting story of the old Norse gods.
Duration 30 minutes.

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