Fourth Grade Boys Make Their Own Viking "Discoveries"

In conjunction with their unit on the Vikings in history class, the fourth graders visited the interactive Discovery Times Square Vikings exhibition. The boys explored the largest collection of Viking artifacts ever displayed in North America, learning about the many different roles of Viking men and women, their religion and mythology, craftsmanship and voyages abroad. The exhibition featured more than 500 treasures, some never before seen outside of Scandinavia, including full-scale model Viking ships, jewelry and clothing, swords and armor, and religious iconography.

The boys went beyond the legend, learning that the popular view of the Vikings as fierce raiders with horned helmets is an inaccurate depiction of the Viking Age societies, who were active from CE 750-1100. In fact, this stereotypical myth perpetuated by Richard Wagner’s 1876 opera cycle, "The Ring," had nothing to do with the Vikings.

The boys also enjoyed hands-on interactive activities, including learning how to build and excavate a boat, designing outfits for Viking men or women, testing their strength with a replica of a Viking sword, and matching wits in an authentic Scandinavian board game called Hnefatafl.