American History: The Vikings

For text we used"The Story of US" by My Father's World. It is a great introductory study of US history, and it has a style of narrative very similar to the Story of the World ( which was a main decisive factor for us). There are 16 full chapters in this text ( some are in 2 parts), which will provide 2 months ( or a bit longer) of studies for us. We usually focus on 1 chapter for 2-3 days. It is just what we were looking for at this point.

My kids requested to stay as close to the Story of the World Format as possible. So for each lesson I am creating some map work and looking for simple activities to go along with the chapter.

Here is the Map Work we used for this lesson:

We also found an incredibly interesting documentary. Its called "The Vikings: Voyage to America" Its 45 minutes long, so I served a Viking Snack - Grapes, Smoked cheese and Smoked Fish and we enjoyed this journey of discovery. Grapes -- because Vikings discovered grapes on the shores of Newfoundland, Canada ( and that is why they called that land Vineland!), smoked fish and cheese, because that is what Viking explorers used to take with them on their long journeys.

"The Vikings: Voyage to America" seems to be temporary available on The Viketube, so you can preview it:

You can also get it as a part of the "Digging for Truth" History Channel collection available on DVDs -- they are great!

Some additional resources we used with this lesson:

Coloring page of Leif Erickson or Leif the Lucky. (Click on the image to get a link for downloading your own coloring page!)

Coloring page of the Viking Longship, these vessels had an amazing design, that allowed them to sail against the wind and cross the Atlantic Ocean!

Great Activity page from the Norwegian National League. It gives short fascinating facts about Vikings and allows children to design the Viking traditional shield:

After watching the documentary, we wanted to create the model of a Viking ship. Follow the link on the images below to get your own printable.

They had lots of fun creating the models, reading more about them and then pretend playing crossing the Atlantic ocean with our giant floor map.