Year 5 The Viking Age Activities

The Vikings are Coming!

Year 5 Autumn 1

Children will learn all about the Vikings and the impact they had on the British Isles. They will look closely at Scandinavia, in particular Norway, and investigate all aspects of Viking life.

Do it!               

  • Arguably the best place in England to learn about the Vikings is The Jorvik Viking Centre in York. It may take a few hours to get there but it is a fantastic, interactive day out full of fun things to do.
  • The British Museum in London is free to enter and has wide range of Viking artefacts.
  • Derbyshire is the only county in the West Midlands to have been conquered by the Vikings, there are two burial sites. One at Repton held the graves of about 249 warriors, whilst the 59 barrows at Ingleby are thought to be a war cemetery of the Viking Great Army of AD 873-878. You can see Artefacts from the burial sites at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery.
  • Make a visit to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, part of Royal Museums Greenwich.
  • Go to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to see HMS Victory and The Mary Rose as well as other fantastic nautical sights and museums.
  • Go legging at on the Dudley Canals (did you know Birmingham has more canals than Venice, 35 miles compared to 26 at Venice!) at the Dudley Canal Trust, near The Black Country Museum.
  • Take a walk along the beautiful canals of Walsall, how many different boats will you see?
  • Visit one of the many Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) museums.
  • Spend the day at Walsall Arboretum and try out the new swan pedalos.
  • Enjoy some Scandinavian food at Ikea!
  • Watch TV! Horrible Histories have some brilliantly funny Vikings sketches on their show.


Write it!

  • Read some of the traditional Norwegian stories suggested in the ‘Read it!’ section, try writing your own Norwegian fairy tale or folk tale.
  • Imagine you are a Viking and have just landed at Lindisfarne. What are your thoughts and feelings about leaving your home? How do you feel about Great Britain? What do you think is going to happen?
  • If you’ve had a Viking inspired day out, write about it and share your thoughts with the people who took you.
  • Have you been trying to get fitter for PE? Keep an ‘Active diary’, include all the physical activity you do and write about what you enjoy the most.
  • Research different Viking gods and goddesses, can you write your own story about them? Don’t forget to include, paragraphs, different openers and connectives and a wide variety of punctuation. Dazzle everybody with your choices of words!


Read it!

  • Norwegian Folktales (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library) by Peter Christen Asbjornsen and Jorgen Moe is a wonderful collection of traditional Norwegian folk tales the whole family can enjoy.
  • ‘The Norse Myths (The Pantheon Fairy Tale and Folklore Library)’ by Kevin Crossley-Holland is another collection of Norse folk tales.
  • ‘D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths by Ingri d’Aulaire is a superb collection of Norse myths.‘Norse Gods and Goddesses’  by Jeff A. Menges is a fantastic colouring book full of facts and information as well as beautiful illustrations of Norse gods and goddesses to colour in.
  • ‘Horrible Histories: Vicious Vikings’ by Terry Deary is the Viking edition in the highly popular Horrible Histories books series.
  • ‘You Wouldn’t Want to Be a Viking Explorer’ by Andrew Langley lets you become a Viking explorer.‘Viking (DK Eyewitness Books)’ by Susan Margeson is an expertly complied non-fiction book full of facts and a free clip-art cd.
  • ‘National Geographic Kids Everything Vikings: All the Incredible Facts and Fierce Fun You Can Plunder’ by Nadia Higgins is another great non-fiction book.
  • ‘Illustrated History Of 151 Video Games’ by Simon Parkin will give all budding gaming designers something to get their teeth into.
  • ‘The Ultimate History of Video Games: From Pong to Pokémon and Beyond : the Story Behind the Craze that Touched Our Lives and Changed the World’ by Steve L. Kent    is another great book all about gaming.


Work it out!


Investigate it! 

What floats and what sinks? How do we know if something will float or not? What forces are at work when things float or sink? What do boat designers need to think of before designing a boat? These are just some of the things that will be explored in science this half term.

Talk about these things as a family and find out what you already know.


Remember it!

The Vikings were only in Britain for a comparatively short time, they well and truly left their mark on the British Isles.

  • To start off with talk about the Vikings as a family, what do we know about them?
  • When were the Vikings in Britain? Why not cut a sheet of A4 paper into two pieces length ways, sellotape them together to make a long strip and use it to make your own timeline of Great Britain from the Roman Invasion to modern day, where do the Vikings fit in? How far away are we to when they lived here?
  • What legacies did the Vikings leave behind? Can you find any evidence of them still in Great Britain today? Lots of place names in Britain have names that originated from the Vikings, try searching for places ending with: -thorpe, -thwaite, -toft, -keld, -ness, -by or –kirk. Visit this webpage for a clue!
  • Explore what Great Britain was like at the time of the Viking invasion. How were the British Isles split up and who lived where? Who were the Anglo-Saxons? Maybe you could draw a Viking and an Anglo-Saxon and label the differences.
  • You could make your own Viking or Anglo-Saxon costume at home, have a look for any old checked shirts you could cut up. Remember to get some photos to bring into school. The whole family could join and you could have a ‘Viking feast’ eating the sort of foods that Vikings ate. Try these costume tips for easy costumes:
  • Viking or Saxon Warrior
  • A long sleeved, oversize plain T-shirt, brown is best.
  • A thin belt or any strip of fabric to tie round your waist.
  • A pair of plain dark leggings or jogging bottoms
  • Plain dark shoes or short boots
  • Viking Lady
  • A plain coloured long dress or top and skirt
  • A plain long tabard-style apron (this can just be a rectangle of fabric or an old towel with a hole cut in it for the head)
  • A thin belt
  • A pair of round or oval badges or brooches, one to be worn on each side of the chest just below the collar bone
  • A string of beads to hang between the two brooches
  • Plain dark shoes or short boots
  • Hair plaited in a single plait at the back
  • Anglo Saxon Lady
  • As above, but without the tabard/apron dress and brooches. The beads can be worn as a necklace instead.
  • A plain headscarf



Explore it!

Children will be looking closely at Scandinavia, in particular Norway and comparing it to the UK.

  • Talk about Scandinavia, what countries make up the region? Find Norway on a map, atlas or on Google Earth. Have a look at photos of Norway on the internet, compare natural landscapes of the country to human settlements there, how to they differ? What differences or similarities are there to the UK?
  • What is the weather like in Norway? Norway has lots of different areas, is the weather in the north the same as the south? How does the weather there differ to that in the UK? Draw a map of Norway and add weather symbols then film yourself doing a weather report.
  • Make a fact file about life in Norway. Find out what Norwegian schools are like. What sorts of food do Norwegian people eat? What traditions and customs do they have? Maybe you could draw a traditional Norwegian costume.
  • You could make a PowerPoint presentation about Norway.
  • Make a tourism leaflet to advertise Norway as a holiday destination, what features could you include to make people want to go there?
  • Find out what animals are native to Norway. Choose your favourite animals and draw or write about them.


Compute it!

For computing children will use a special programme to plan, create, debug and evaluate their very own computer game.

  • Make a list of your favourite games that you like to play on the computer/laptop/tablet/phone. What sort of games are they (racing, action, adventure, creative, role-play)? What do they look like? Think about the colours, character design, back-ground design etc.
  • Try playing a game that is different to the type you usually play, you could perhaps let another family member choose one for you (ask permission from Mum or Dad before you buy anything!).
  • Write a review about your favourite game, include all the things you like about it. What could you say to make other children want to play it?
  • Have a look online or play some old games (if your family has an emulator on the family PC or an old console hiding away in the attic!). How have they changed throughout history? Investigate some of the first gaming devices such as the Atari Home Pong, ZX81, ZX Spectrum, the Amstrad CPC 464, the Atari 520st or the original Nintedo Entertainment System or the Sega Master System. Maybe your parents had them when they were younger, ask them about their favourite games.


Create it!

In art children will be making their own Viking shields and flags and making a clay dragon, inspired by the dragon heads found at the front of Viking longships.


Make it!

Children will be making a Viking longship in school.


Listen to it!

Year 5 will spend the year having specialist music tuition from our visiting music teacher. They will get a chance to play a variety of different instruments, specifically focusing on keyboard skills.


Get active!

For PE children will spend the first half term trying to improve their fitness with various circuit training activities indoors whilst playing hockey outside.

  1. What do you do as a family to keep fit? Make a list of all the activities you enjoy doing; do you like swimming, playing football, dancing, walking, running, skipping, riding your bike or do you enjoy something else? Have a look at your list, which activities are team sports are which can you enjoy on your own? Are there any sports you enjoy but wish you did more of? Think of ways you could get fitter as a family.
  2. Do some circuit type activities in your garden, you don’t need lots of equipment, just set up some stations with a different activity at each station. Spend two minutes at each station before moving on to the next. You could try labelling your stations by writing your own name labels onto card. Here are some ideas of things you could include:
  • Bicep curls
  • Arm circles
  • Waist twists
  • Bunny hops
  • Running on spot
  • Skipping rope
  • Air punches
  • Squats
  • Press-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Do you have hockey sticks at home? If so why not have a family game of hockey.
  • If you enjoy hockey maybe you could join Aldridge & Walsall Hockey club, look at their website for more information.


Understand it!

Year 5 will learn about the religious beliefs of the Vikings, they will compare Pagan and Christian beliefs and investigate the Viking raids on Lindisfarne and Iona. They will learn about the different reasons the Viking targeted the monasteries and what they gained from their pillaging. They will also look at the different gods and goddesses from Pagan Norse religion.


If you would like to find  out more about this topic please click on the following link:

Year 5 Parent Information

For a copy of the topic homework sheet please click the following link:

Year 5 The Viking Age Homework