Raiders, Traders or Settlers? Week 4 - w/c 29.6.2020
Another exciting week of learning about the Vikings! This week will be learning about Norse mythology and the Viking gods. We will read a story called Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman and we will continue with our novel, How to Train Your Dragon. Hiccup seems to be becoming braver but will he be able to defeat the Green Death and avoid exile? It may look as if we've set an awful lot of work below but many of the activities require no writing or recording and are for you to enjoy while expanding your knowledge and appreciation for the ways in which the Vikings continue to influence us today, particularly through music, art and literature.
Reading - How to Train Your Dragon Chapter 13
Read the PDF version of Chapter 13 below and notice how Hiccup finds a new supporter and Snotlout finds someone who is not intimidated by him.
If you want to find out everything that happened in the other chapters of the book, you can order a copy online or download an e-reader version
You could even read along while listening to David Tennant reading the book to you
The Vikings were an extremely advanced culture who valued knowledge. One of the ways that we know this is through their use of runic writing and symbols. Learn more about this by looking through the Powerpoint presentation below. You can then have a go at writing your own name in runes (don’t forget your Nordic surname – see the lesson for more info.) You could even use the runic alphabet to send secret messages to your family or friends – there’s a print-out below that you can give them to help them work out what you’ve written.
Vikings had a very detailed and complex mythology and belief system that influenced how they lived as well as how they wanted to die. Myths were made up to explain things which could not be easily understood before we had ‘scientific’ explanations - e.g. the changing of the seasons, or how the world was created. Natural phenomena were frequently explained through stories about gods and goddesses. In many mythologies these divine beings have special powers, but often have human characteristics and take on human forms. Despite their extraordinariness they display anger, jealousy, love, etc. Read the information sheets on Odin, Thor and Loki carefully: can you recognise any similarities with other cultures and religions that we have studied? How were these beliefs shown in the way that Vikings lived their lives? You will need to understand who Loki was for the writing lesson this week - you will write about him appearing to a boy disguised as a fox!
The Viking Creation Story and Art
Before the world was created there lived the gods and the giants. The chief of the gods was Odin, the Great All-father. Odin banished the giants to the frozen wasteland of Jotunheim and the gods then began the creation of the world. Firstly, they made the flat circle of the earth. Then they made the Middle Earth, called Midgard which was home to the first human beings and a much more beautiful place than the others. High in the mountains away from Midgard they built a home for themselves, called the city of Asgard. Meanwhile, in Jotunheim, the giants awaited their revenge. The Bifrost was a ‘rainbow bridge’ connecting Asgard with the Earth (looked after by Heimdall), and Helheim, a gloomy realm of darkness. The various realms were held together by Yggdrasil, a kind of Tree of Life, an ash tree where the gods sat in council at the centre of the Universe, by the Spring of Fate, the source of all wisdom.
Follow the link to see a short cartoon version of the Viking creation story. In it, Loki recounts how he stood at Odin's shoulder as Odin creates three realms - Jotunheim (home for the giants - his enemies); Midgard (home for 'skinny, hairy' things called humans) and Asgard (shining city of the gods).
Odin also creates the first humans by finding two trees and 'muttering something' into the leaves, to create the first man and first woman. And, as a final touch, Odin connects Asgard to Midgard with a rainbow bridge called Bifrost. This is an adapted version of the full Viking creation myth, focusing solely on Odin's part in it.
Can you draw your own picture of what the four mythic Vikings realms looked like and how they were connected?
On the same page you can hear an extract from Das Rheingold, an opera by Richard Wager, which premiered in 1869. It is part of the Ring Cycle which dramatises Viking mythology and is partly responsible for the historically inaccurate image of Vikings wearing horned helmets (his costume designer thought they would look dramatic on stage!)
- As the opera draws to a close Donner – one of the Viking gods – calls up a storm and the air clears to reveal Bifrost, the rainbow, forming a bridge to the gods’ new home.
- Can you hear the lightning strike, followed by a roll of thunder, followed by the shimmering music for Bifrost? Why do you think this music is suitable to depict the rainbow bridge?
- Can you spot the use of horns in the music?
You can also learn a song about the Odin’s creation story on the same page – the words are on an info sheet below.
Everything you need to know to complete this week's Super Sentence Stackers lessons is in the document below "Odd and the Frost Giants lesson notes". At the beginning of the lesson notes you are told where to find a recording of an illustrator reading the story. You only need to listen to the first two chapters to complete the writing task but may want to listen to the whole story as it is a short book anyway (and a brilliant story!) There is also the web address of a clip from a David Attenborough programme which will help you to picture how a fox moves. You will write two paragraphs this week - so around 18 sentences at the most.
Make sure you check Spelling Frame every week and complete the set tests as well as playing the games regularly to improve your spelling generally. Can you include any of this week’s words in your sentence stacking task?
The Vikings settled in certain parts of Britain and named places with the Norse language. Some of those Viking place names are still used today. You can use maps to locate where the Vikings settled in the U.K. and we have included a table on the lesson notes which tells you some Viking place names to look for. Have some fun using the online Ordnance Survey map with its slider tool to find a place and zoom in to see where it is; many are in the Scottish islands - you've probably not visited many of these so this is your chance to have a look at maps of these fascinating places. You will also become more skilled in understanding how grid references work. The document (below in the attachments)- Viking Geography Language and Place Names - tells you what to do and the links are also here:
Listen to the Michael Rosen Word of Mouth programme about Viking words and place names. The PDF of lesson notes tells you some of the words to listen out for:
Watch Steve Backshall teach you about 4-figure grid references:
Use the online Ordnance Survey map to find places where Vikings settled: