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 differed.

By the end of the session they grasp that we always need to be sure of the provenance of any account before reaching judgments about its accuracy.

Why have the Vikings gained such a bad reputation? Vikings KQ2

Learning objectives

  • Pupils understand how the Vikings gained their reputation;
    they understand that it was exaggerated by the accounts written by monks;
  • they grasp that until recently monks’ records were the main source of evidence;
  • they can distinguish between a Saxon and a Viking account of the same event;
  • the most able understand that history can be abused in the interests of a good story/headline/stereotype;
  • pupils understand that the most negative accounts come from the period when they were raiding

Step 1

Dramatically tell the story of the raid on Lindisfarne (Slide 3) with slide 2 displayed. (Link this with pupils’ earlier work on the early Saxon monks of the island.) This is clearly a

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