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 conflict – rather than ‘one damn event and treaty after another’.
By using a technique called living (or fortunes) graph, pupils have to work collaboratively to create and then analyse a visual representation of the struggle. By making the shape themselves they are far more likely to understand and remember it.
The activity works like this. In 2s or 3s, pupils firstly arrange the event cards (which have been cut up into strips in advance of the lesson) into chronological order. Placing the long strips on their short end, 90 degrees to the table top. (NB. Copying sets onto different colour paper makes counting them back in so much easier.)
With the cards all in the right chronological order ask the pupils to read each card in turn again and decide what impact that event would have on the fortunes of the Vikings. At the lowest end is no control at the top end is complete control. Common sense will tell pupils that the Vikings were not in control at the start of the period: