Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Teachers' Notes

Resource created by York Archaeological Trust | The Jorvik Group


This resource will help pupils to gain an understanding of the Viking world, by introducing them to characters and artefacts.


Curriculum Links

  • KS2 History: Viking raids and invasion
  • KS2 English:   Writing narratives, creating characters and settings

Learning Objectives

  • Knowledge of different aspects of Viking life and culture
  • Understanding of the multicultural influences at work on Viking York
  • Skills to interpret historical artefacts

Discussion Ideas

  • How do you think the Anglo-Saxon people felt about the Vikings settling in York?
  • Where did the Anglo-Saxons come from?
  • What does the word multicultural mean?
  • How do you think Viking York was multicultural?
  • What symbols would you put on your coins if you were a Viking king or queen?
  • Why do you think messages were placed on coins?
  • Which artefacts in this resource most interest you and why? (Take a look at the images of the artefacts)



Activity Ideas

  • Art & Design:
    Pupils could design a coin, including symbols to express aspects of their lives or personalities. This might include their name and a few words, as well as symbols of things that are important to them.

    Pupils could also be asked to draw a pattern around the edge. Viking coins used patterning so that it was easy to see if people had clipped bits of silver off the coin!
  • Creative writing:
    Inspired by Egill's 'Head Ransom' poem (download the poem text) and their own research into the Viking world, pupils could write their own poem attempting to persuade someone of something.
  • English/Literacy:
    Ask pupils to choose an object from this resource and create a character from Viking York who might have used or owned it. The character might be like them in some way - or completely different.

    Pupils can read through the stories of Guthrun the weaver, Bjorn the beggar and Egill the poet for inspiration.

    They can then draw a sketch to show what their character looks like and write a fact-file imagining:
    - What job they do
    - Where they live
    - Who they live with
    - What they are afraid of
    - Their hopes or dreams



Internal Links

Other resources on My Learning that cover this subject area include:

Viking Ring