Year 5 Viking Experience – Autumn 2 2019

On Friday the 15th of November, year 5 enjoyed a fantastically vicious Viking visit. Our learning truly came to life with the help of Thorul Hammerson, our visiting Viking. By dressing up in fantastic costumes, the children felt that they had been transported back in time. We learnt that his trousers that were made of plentiful material, were to demonstrate his wealth, as was his silver-tipped leather belt and bag.

We had studied the significance of artefacts; how they can indicate how far and wide the Vikings had travelled and traded with places as far away as North Africa and Constantinople. Being able to hold them meant that we could appreciate what Viking life was like, with several families all living in a long-house alongside the animals. Through Thor’s clever questioning, we were able to piece together the facts that we had already learnt and apply this knowledge. Eg. where did the horn come for to make the drinking horn?

We were also surprised that many of the Viking words for cutlery and kitchenware are very similar to words we use today eg “ketill”

We were also interested to learn other words with Viking origin eg “Ransack”
from the old Norse “rannsaka” which means to search a house. Also, “window” which literally translated means  “a wind-eye”.

We knew, from our study of artefacts that chess pieces and dice had been found, made from walrus tusk or reindeer antler. Therefore it was great to have the chance to play a fun game of ‘Fox and Geese’ which tested our tactical moves; one fox tries to eat the 13 geese and the geese win if they manage to block in the fox.

In the afternoon, the children watched as he made some coins which would have been worth £25. If you wanted to spend less, you chopped the coin in half or even quarters, known as a “four-thing” (farthing). Who knew a blunt axe could split a watermelon in half as well as split your money into pieces?

The following quotes show how much this visit added to our learning……

Autumn – “It’s been a fun day and it gives you a lot of education.”

Jasmin – “It’s interesting to learn about the Vikings. The day has helped us to learn how they lived.”

Paloma – “A super experience.”

Amelia – “We had a slashing time.”