This half term, as part of your homework, we would like you to take part in a project which will culminate in a display for parents before the half term holiday (Tuesday 9th February, at the end of the school day). We would like you to have a go at building either an Anglo-Saxon home or a Viking longboat to fit in with our topic of Invasion and Settlement. Previous projects like this have been warmly received and we hope that you will enjoy working together to produce your finished piece of work.
Please find attached some information to help get you started. If you have any questions, please see your child’s class teacher. Enjoy!
Anglo-Saxons houses were huts made of wood with roofs thatched with straw. There was only one room where everybody ate, cooked, slept and entertained their friends. The Hall was long, wide and smoky, with the fire on a stone in the middle. The smoke from the fire escaped through a hole in the roof.
The windows were slits called eye-holes. There was no glass in the windows.
On the walls were shields and antlers. The floor was dirty and covered with rushes from the river banks. Sometimes the oxen were kept at one end of the Hall.
The Vikings were seafaring warriors from Scandinavia. They explored and settled in areas of Europe, North America and even Asia, by means of their longships.
The first longships (or longboats) were built as far back as the stone age, although most were built between the 9th and 13th centuries. The methods of construction are still used all over the world today.
There were several different types of Viking longship, based on their size and importance. They ranged from 23 to 30 metres long and could carry up to 80 people.
Although oak was commonly used to make longships, elm, pine, spruce and ash were also used. During construction, unfinished ships were buried in mud to stop the wood from drying out.
The Vikings invented the ship’s keel, and the design of their ships meant they were sturdy, yet could be easily steered and turned. The ships could reach speeds of 15 knots.
Several different methods of navigation were used by the Vikings. They navigated by the stars, the sun and a primitive form of sundial, as well as using birds to indicate the location of the nearest land.
The prows of the ships often featured a carved dragon or other creature. Its purpose was to protect the sailors from sea monsters, and to frighten their enemies.