Viking Writing in Year 5:
First we warmed up by discussing what they know about Vikings and their myths after watching a clip entitled ‘Vikings – Odin & The Lords of Asgard’ (http://youtu.be/_qYvtDaVEYM). This introduced the notion of dying with a sword in your hand in order to get to the mythical land of Valhalla. Pupils looked at a variety of weapons and were told about the role of KENNINGS and RUNES to label swords and axes and give them mythical powers.
A number of examples were shared:
Ear Cutter Throat Slitter Blood Curdler Eye Ripper Bone Crusher
Pupils then collected nouns and verbs to create their own KENNINGS, with me trying to push them to think of more extreme verbs, in particular
eg. Throat Eye Tongue Heart Life Soul
Cutter Stabber Gouger Crusher Annihilator Destroyer
After this warm up, we looked at a screen shot from ‘The saga of Biorn’. (http://www.literacyshed.com/the-myths-and-legends-shed.html) and discussed what a Viking warrior would be like.
We then watched the first minute of the short film to explore why Biorn would want to die with his sword in his hand and how the writing must be full of superlatives and exaggeration to capture the enormity of this warrior’s last act. We wrote a shared text of the opening paragraph for our Viking Myth:
As nightfall came, Biorn searched for a worthy adversary. He had led a rewarding life, fought in many bloody battles and slaughtered hundreds of weaker men. However, now he was ready for an honourable death. It was his time to die and earn the greatest prize of them all. It was only then, that he would take his rightful place in Valhalla and prove he was the greatest Viking of them all!
Clutching his powerful sword, Throat Slitter, he prepared to fight to the death to earn his place with his fellow warriors.
The pupils worked in pairs to produce their own opening paragraph, before we watched the heart of the short film and looked at what happened when he tried to fight his way into Valhalla! The film can be watched in segments and used to support paragraph development. I used it for my plenary and then the teacher was going to return to it to stimulate further writing.