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.

Outstanding medium-term planner for Vikings

This KS2 Vikings planner, judged outstanding by an OFSTED history inspector now links to all the fully-resourced outstanding lessons and smart tasks making the teaching of this topic completely self-contained. Not only does it ensure that you cover all the significant content, and develop key...
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KS2 Quick Quiz on the Vikings

This exit task is a quick way of working out whether the key messages of your teaching about the Vikings have been understood and is best done towards the end of this KS2 topic so that you still have time to remedy any misapprehensions. But first...
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What image do we have of the Vikings? KQ1

This two part session gives the topic on the Vikings a really active start. Following an introduction to the Vikings in time and place, including a competitive Time Team task, pupils investigate stereotypical images of Vikings as a start to the overall enquiry. The main fun...
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Reasons for Vikings’ bad reputation KQ2

Having explored the nature of the stereotypical Viking image in the first session, it is now time to examine the origins of the image. Pupils compare two very contrasting accounts written by different people, at the same time, and then try to work out why they...
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Anglo-Saxons struggle against the Vikings

How did the Vikings try to take over the country and how close did they get? (Vikings KQ3 & Anglo-Saxons KQ4)

This task encapsulates the struggle between the Anglo-Saxons and the Vikings in an engaging way that really makes pupils think about the dynamics of the...
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