Vikings Unit Study
In this unit study you will learn about Leif Erikson, Erik the Red and the Vikings. You will also learn some basic geography including latitude and longitude and directional terms. You will learn how to use a map and make some maps of your own. You will get to dress up like a Viking, build a Viking long house, make your own Viking games and more. This unit study is geared for elementary students and planned as a 4 week unit.
The books used for this unit study are Leif the Lucky and Who Were the Vikings.
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Required books for Viking Unit Study
1. Read pages 1-8 in Leif the Lucky.
2. Discuss Erik and Leif's travels. What country is Erik the Red from? What countries have they traveled to?
3. Find Norway, Iceland, and Greenland on a map. Point out the compass rose on the map. Discuss directional terms North, South, East, and West. What direction would you be traveling to get from Norway to Iceland? From Iceland to Greenland?
4. Pretend you are a Viking. Make up your own Viking name.
5. Write a poem using your Viking name.
1. Read pages 9-17 in Leif the Lucky.
2. Leif grew up in Greenland. From your reading how would you describe the climate of Greenland? What are some examples from your story that tell you this.
Climate describes the type of type of weather a place has over a long period of time.
3. Bjarne told how he lost his course on his voyage to Greenland. What are some things you can use now a day to keep from getting lost? (examples: map, stars and sun, compass, etc) Did the Vikings have these?
4. Let's help Bjarne from getting lost. Draw a map from Norway to Iceland and then to Greenland. Use your imagination and make symbols on your map marking Leif's home, King Olav's home, and Bjarne's home. Include a map title, a legend, symbols, and a compass rose on your map.
A map title tells the subject of the map. A legend, also called a map key, explains what symbols mean. A symbols is something that stands for something else.
1. Read pages 18-26 in Leif the Lucky.
2. Get out your map from yesterday.
3. While looking at a map of the world, discuss the concepts of latitude and longitude.
Latitude describes imaginary lines that run from east to west across the surface of the earth. These lines are measured in degrees.
Longitude describes imaginary lines that run from north to south across the surface of the earth. These are also measured in degrees.
Find the equator on the map. Point out some of the countries the equator passes through. What is the equator?
The equator is 0° latitude. It is the official halfway point between the North Pole and South Pole.
5. Find the North Pole and South Pole.
6. Find the Prime Meridian on the map. What is the Prime Meridian? Can you guess what it is marking?
The Prime Meridian is an imaginary line that runs from north to south through Greenwich, England and divides the Earth in half. It is 0° longitude.
Does your map from yesterday show countries north or south of the equator. Are you closer to the North Pole or South Pole?
7. Discuss good manners. What are some ways you can show good manners? The man in the story used bad manners, while Leif used good manners.
King Olav gave Leif many gifts. One of the ways you use good manners is writing "Thank You" letters. Pretend you are Leif and write King Olav a Thank You letter. Make sure to use a heading, salutation, complimentary close, and signature. You can find a sample letter here. Click here to print out a blank letter form.
1. Read pages 26-35 in Leif the Lucky.
2. Leif discovers a new land. He names this place Vinland. What country do you think this is?