Sunday, March 15, 2009

Welcome to the Norse!

Strike up the horns!
Our sixth graders recently concluded their social studies unit on medieval studies. To help put a nice bow on this unit, our own Mrs. Hamm contacted some Norsemen reenactors from St. Louis, MO and Oklahoma City, OK to speak perform a demonstration for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.

Norsemen is a term meaning "people from the North" and was applied primarily to Nordic people originating from southern and central Scandinavia. Notice the map about that illustrates the different settlements of the Norsemen from the 8th to 11th centuries.

Despite how friendly our visitors were, the Norsemen were not pleasant folk. Well put by one of our visits "they found it was easier to steal than to make". This was referring to pillaging that they were well known for. They frequently would raid churches and villages for goods such as gold, sliver, clothes, food, furniture, and women. Yes women, they were typically taken back to Viking settlements while the men and children were killed.

We are also reminder by our reenactors that the Noresmen were not unintelligent either. This was a group of people that were great skills men. The Norsemen crafted many tools, weapons, and clothing. Among the most famous of their work were their longboats.

Not only did our reenactors bring lots of historical information, but also brought many replica pieces from this time period and also performed several demonstration for us. Below is a small dose of what they shared with us.

Demonstration of siege engines

Who wants to be a Viking?

Who wants to be a Viking...part duex

This was an outstanding experience for all of our children and gave them a perspective on what it was like during this time period that no text book could ever come close to. The students were not the only ones that were excited about this exhibit; I noticed myself and other teachers (Mr. C and Mrs. Hamm) giggling like nerds over some of the different types of replicas that were present. There is much more media available from this event, as I just have a small amount. If you would like to see more, Mr. C will have a post up (including full video) within the next few days.

Mr. McClung

1 comment:

Little Voices, Little Scholars. said...

That was an exciting unit to study. You have done a good job.

Mrs She @ Pt England School Auckland New Zealand