Explorers (Part 1)–Vikings

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Explorers (Part 1)–Vikings

This is the beginning of our Early Epxlorers history for kids Unit. In this free hands on homeschool history unity you will learn about the Vikings, Christopher Columbus, Magellan, and more. It also includes free printable labook with timeline and famous explorers to help elementary kids retain the information they've learned.
Early Explorers Homeschool History Unit - Vikings

Hands on Vikings Unit for Elementary Homeschoolers

In order to get to the Aztecs & Westward Expansion before our road trip(s) we started at the beginning of America – Early Explorers. I had been planning this unit ever since we built our shed this summer & had a HUGE box leftover. I quickly claimed the box & made us store it in the garage until now.

Viking Costumes for Kids

We made a sword from cardboard & foil

We were going to make a Viking hat, but realized we had one in our dress up clothes instead. This is the durable  Viking helmet we own.

We made our round shield from a (pizza) box & foil
Vikings Costumes for homeschoolers

DIY Viking Ship from Cardboard Box

We used our box to create, as close as we could, a kid-size replica of a Viking ship. It was fun to make over Christmas break when Daddy was around to help us too!
  • We left our ship brown as the ships were made of wood (We left out the animal fat to make the space between the wood water resistant =-)
  • We made it the shape which allowed the Vikings to have the fastest ships of their time.
  • We put in retractable oars, just like the Vikings for when the weather was bad.
  • We lined the sides with shields like Vikings did for additional protection and storage for their fitting shields.
  • We put a dragon on the front of our ship to scare away the towns we went to pillage – Vikings usually had dragons or snakes.
  • The kids sat on a trunk that held their belongings for the journey (change of clothes, food, and bucket to hold drinking water or bail out water from the ship.
  • We had the ruder at the back for the helmsman to steer the ship away from rocks or icebergs.  Pretty cool, huh?
DIY Homeschool Vikings ShipDIY Homeschool Vikings Ship

Vikings Coloring Sheet

We colored in the Viking pictures from the Exploration of North American Coloring Book.  This wonderful coloring book is only $3.95 and includes coloring pages & information for 39 North American explorers - great for younger children to learn alongside elementary age homeschoolers.
Vikings Coloring Sheet

Vikings History Comes Alive

We did a history activity, we rowed from Greenland to America just like Leif Erikson, ate grapes & called it Vineland (although the Vikings really found blueberries, but they thought they were grapes), and  then eager to take home wood & grapes we rowed back to Greenland.

Watched Vikings Veggies Tales

We wateched Veggie Tales: Lyle the Kindly Viking.  This is a great gentle introduction to the historic Vikings for younger learners (ages 2-6). Then we practiced pillaging other lands like the Viking Pirates did. We would arrive at dawn, yell as we got off our boat, take supplies, burn the buildings (no we didn’t really do that part), and got back in our boat and sailed for home.
Did you know they were so feared the King of France gave the Vikings Normandy so they wouldn’t pillage any of the rest of France?

Viking Mapping Activity

For our viking mapping activity we found key countries on a map: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Greenland (Erik the Red) , North America (Leif Eriksson), and Normandy France. This printable is in my lapbook pack you can download above.
Viking worksheets for homeschoolers

Viking Reading Comprehension

After reading Leif Erickson we wrote down key points in the story. Then Goofy ordered them – 1st, 2nd, Next, Then, Finally. Historical reading comprehension

Review Explorers all Month

We used the Explorers Calendar Connection from 1+1+1=1 (using all month to highlight various explorers) – If you have the same calendar I do (Learning Resources) just print them at 90% of the size in print options.
January 2012 1546

Printable Viking Fun for Kids

Viking Maze (Goofy had fun with this. Click to get your own)
Made Viking Mask (click to go to template we used)
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- Made Viking Recipes (I always enjoy cooking food from other countries!)
- Viking Information for kids online
- Videos about Vikings (boats, cities, and more)

Viking History Books for Homeschool Kids

We always read LOTS of good books!! Below are  my favorites – we read each and every one from our local library and we own: the exact Viking hat, cute Veggies Tales video, and Exploration of North America Coloring book (great resource to use with all of our exploration unit!)

FREE Early Explorers Lapbook & Timeline

January 2012 1616
The free early explorers labpbook and timeline contains key points about the different explorers on cards as well as free early explorer worksheets for kids.

Note: I will be making this free printable, along with some fun worksheets, for each of the explorers we study.

I am making the lapbook into a timeline – here is our lapbook with our first Explorer.

FREE viking worksheets and lapbook

>> Download Early Explorers Lapbook & Worksheets Part 1 <<

And if you have little ones make sure you check out my {FREE} Early Explorers Preschool Pack so your little one can join in on the fun too!
free explorers preschool pack

MORE Homeschooling History Units 

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  1. Okay, that's probably the coolest thing I've ever seen. What an awesome way to learn! :) Thanks so much for putting together those printables, as well. I've pinned them. :)

  2. Wow, that ship is impressive. Love the printables too. Pinned this post. Thanks, Beth! ~Julie

  3. Amazing unit....love love love the boat....as always thank you for another great post and freebies

    Christina visiting from worldgoneblue.blogspot.com

  4. Awesome!!! What a fun and creative mom you are!! The boat is absolutely great!!

  5. Wow, this activity looks so awesome. So many great things you can learn when being totally immersed into the subject matter. Hands on, that's how kids learn best. Thanks for the comment BTW!
    Lori @ Cachey Mama’s Classroom

  6. I am in awe. Half my family is Norwegian and my older daughter and I went to Iceland and Norway recently. I have wanted to work on a viking project with her. We have the same viking hat as you, but with long yellow braids attached :) This is an amazing use of cardboard.

  7. Thanks everyone for the sweet comments!! I was so excited about this activity - I think it made learning come alive & we had so much FUN!!
    Beth =-)

  8. Love this! I'm going to feature you on my Facebook page today! Thanks for linking up in Homeschooling on the Cheap! Kelli

  9. Hey Beth that is one FANTASTIC ship! I think my boys would LOVE ME to the moon and back if I made one for them! Would you please link up with us? http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2012/01/fun-stuff-fridays-7.html

  10. This is AWESOME Beth!!!!!!!!!! What a cool memory for your kids too! Thanks so much for linking up at Thrifty Thursday, have a fantastic weekend!

  11. This is super cool! I'm sure this is a lesson that will stay in your children's memories. :)

  12. oh wow that pirate ship is brilliant..I bet you were playing in it as soon as the kids went to bed :-)

  13. That is one awesome ship! Thanks for sharing the great idea!

  14. Oh, Beth, this is awesome!! What a fun way to learn. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  15. This is just plain AMAZING! We are getting into vikings soon, I am going to have to come back to this, such great ideas! thanks for sharing them!

  16. Wow! Nice set up! Thanks for sharing these great ideas... I'll keep this in mind if we do a viking unit in our house. :-)

  17. This is an awesome lesson plan! I love all the hands on activities. The ship is fabulous! Thanks for linking to AfterSchool.
    Kelly at Little Wonders' Days

  18. I am going to pin this post for the future even though I am sure we will not get such a fabulous ship! Thanks for joining Afterschool!

  19. Fun! Lots of great activities! Thank you for sharing.

  20. This is fantastic! I've bookmarked it for when we do our Viking studies! Thanks for the inspiration (and the printables)!

    Stopping by from Fun Stuff Fridays.

  21. Wow that's a huge box. What a fun way to teach. and very fun activities too.

  22. Ha- what fun- I love how it turned out ;-) Thank you for sharing your ideas with us on The Sunday Showcase

  23. Congrats! This was the #2 most clicked post on my blog link up, Homeschooling on the Cheap! last week! Great job on linking up something people wanted to read. I loved this, a lot!

    Thanks and the new post & link up is live: http://3boysandadog.com/deals/2012/homeschooling-on-the-cheap-01262012/


  24. Loved the ship! We just finished our 2 semester unit on Explorers as well!

  25. Wow, totally cool! I'll have to borrow your idea when we study the Vikings! Thank you for sharing!

  26. That is a lot of work! Fun however. Thanks for linking it to Monday Madness.

  27. This is really cool, Beth! We've been on a pirate kick around here that's migrating into a love of all things viking... AND we're the family that "hosts" our monthly geography club this April. The theme? Norse countries and others in the Baltic area. The "topic" my kids choose to focus on? Vikings! We'll be making a viking ship to be the centerpiece in the library meeting room (just need to figure out a way to make it collapsible)> :) Thanks for the inspiration. (I pinned it, too.)

  28. Both the lapbook and the Preschool pack look awesome. Thanks for sharing them.

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  30. This is such a cute idea. I have seen many of your other posts on Pinterest. I hope you will stop by and link this ship craft as well as many of your other great posts to Artsy Play Wednesday on Capri + 3.

    : 0 ) Theresa

  31. I just saw this on Capri + 3 and I pinned it. Should I ever manage to get my hands on a HUGE box, I now have a plan. Awesome.

  32. That is one awesome Viking ship. Nice work on the attention to detail. Probably a good idea to leave out the animal fat. Whilst great for waterproofing probably not so good for the living room floor :)

  33. Hi, these pages are great and fit perfectly into what we are going to study this week. I'm trying to print them, but I'm receiving an error message that the file is damaged. I'll try again, but if I'm unable to get it would you be willing to email it to me?? I'd be so appreciative!
    leefamilee5 (at)gmail.com

  34. okay, disregard...I figured it out! Thanks!!

  35. I completely love your blog. It inspiring and makes me want to relive those early home school days with my tween age boys again. I celebrated women like you who inspire others through sharing their awesome curriculum