Home Education~Ministry Moments~Hearth and Home

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Viking Longships

     We are currently studying the Middle Ages.  
These are a few of the books we are using in History:


     Last week we were reading about the Vikings...and I thought, "What a great 'boy' topic! We must do a fun project with this!"  I tried begged --to no avail-- to convince my children we should dress up as Vikings for the Fall Festival.  They had their own ideas.  But I didn't give up.  I searched the Internet for ideas.  I found THIS great idea about making a Viking longship from recycled products.  (I just love not having to go out and buy a bunch of stuff!)
Here's our very fun learning experience with building a Viking longship:
Measuring an empty milk carton to cut in half lengthwise. 

One milk carton made 2 long ships...perfect for us!

My youngest son had the idea to place craft sticks on/in his longship.  
The sides were covered with strips of construction paper and/or masking tape to look like wood on the side of a ship. 

Next step: making a dragon head for the front of the longship.
Vikings had these on the front of their long ships to look menacing!


The rudder (the tail of the dragon) is made from pieces of a bamboo skewer and a piece of a straw...it really works!
We tried several ways...but the best way to cut a bamboo skewer was with mom's garden clippers.
The sticks were used for the rudders, sail and oars.


The mast and rigging....
The straw was made more secure with a skewer. 
The string is some kite string we had available.

Adding the oars. Mom cut the holes with a sharp knife. The hole punch would have been too big.
The flat part of the oar was made with masking tape that was trimmed with scissors.


All done! Complete with shields and all!
Ta-DA!  Ready to set sail!
(The sail was cut from some brown paper and the edges were covered with masking tape.)

     I did the first few steps of this project with my boys.  But then I said to myself, "They can read and follow directions.  It would be much more educational--and fun for that matter--if they figured this out on their own."  It went VERY WELL letting my boys do this on their own.  It "forced" them to have to read directions carefully, as well as use their problem-solving skills.  Much of the directions from the website did not give exact steps to follow.  My boys had to figure out on their own how to attach the sail to the mast, for example.  They learned something about Vikings from this project, sure.  But the real lesson here was more about ingenuity, problem-solving and paying attention to detail.  Mom says, "Job well done!"  :)


Melinda Speece said...

I agree! Job well done! FUN!

Karyn Tripp said...

This is just cool! Thanks for a fun idea! New follower from crew stopping by to say hello :)

Jennifer aGlimpseOfOurLife said...

That is cool! It is great seeing the kids learn as they try something new.