KS2 outstanding history lessons on Vikings
The Vikings have always been one of those topics every primary teacher has looked forward to teaching. That can be a strength and a potential weakness. If we get carried away too much with the sagas and stories of plunder and pillage, we may miss the opportunity of helping pupils to realise how the changing nature of the evidence historians can now access has changed the way we should interpret the Vikings.
By teaching the Vikings combined with the Saxons you not only save time but also strengthen pupils’ understanding of their inter-relationship. Pupils should not see this post-Roman period as just one damned invader after another but rather to look at how each group has responded to earlier civilizations as well as leaving their own characteristic mark on the landscape.
We must above all realise that the Vikings were not just raiders, but also traders. Or, more accurately, were both, but at different times. The lessons and tasks below all reflect this general approach majoring on the use of new evidence and the changing interpretations this has brought about over the last 50 years.