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Age Range: 7-11
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • Science
  • Maths
  • D & T

The history of the Vikings design and technology project

Multi-lesson activity on The Vikings | Free KS2 lesson plan activity

This is a multi-lesson integrated classroom project teaching resource based around the theme of the Vikings. It aims to show how Design & Technology and Engineering can be built into a wider theme-based set of primary lesson activities covering a range of curriculum areas.

The Vikings came from Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden and Norway). They raided and colonised large parts of Europe in the 9th to the 11th centuries, including England. In this classroom project, learners will learn lots of interesting facts about this important group of people.

Teachers can select the activities they feel best fit with their lesson planning and carry out as stand-alone activities, or learners can complete all activities within this teaching resource as part of an integrated scheme of work.

In this project learners will research the Viking longboat, write and perform a script about how the Vikings lived, design a Viking pin badge and make a Viking purse. They will cover a range of curriculum areas including Literacy, Numeracy, Computing/ICT, Design & Technology, Engineering, History and Art.

This classroom project can be used to integrate Design & Technology and Engineering activities into a wider theme-based multi-lesson project based on the Vikings.

Activity: Four activities based on the Vikings

Learners will look at who the Vikings were, where they came from and their importance in the history of the United Kingdom and Europe. In Activity 1 they will research the Viking longboat and produce a presentation to show the class. In Activity 2 learners will write a script for a scene about one aspect of what life was like for the Vikings and then act out their script. In Activity 3 learners will design a Viking pin badge and in Activity 4 learners will make a Viking purse. All classroom activities are suitable for the KS2 level and can be done as stand-alone activities or done in turn so as to complete the full multi-lesson integrated project.

Tools/supplies needed:

Resources required:

Activity 1

  • Computers with internet and presentation software
  • Whiteboard projector or interactive whiteboard

Activity 2

  • Lined paper
  • Pens
  • Props as required, and available, for acting out the script

Activity 3

  • Blank paper (A3 or A4)
  • Pens, pencils and coloured pencils

Activity 4

  • Felt (minimum of 100 mm by 200 mm) or other suitable material (e.g. cotton or pre-owned denim/t-shirts to incorporate Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pens and pencils
  • Rulers

Follow our step-by-step guide on how to complete the 4 Viking-related classroom activities

Activity 1 – Longboat history research

Learners will research the Viking longboat and produce a presentation to show the class including what they looked like, the different parts of each boat, what they were used for, how they were made and what from, and how they floated and moved.

Activity 2 – Life as a Viking

Learners will write a script for a scene about one aspect of what life was like for the Vikings. This could include where they lived (their homes and villages), their laws and customs, what they ate and the clothes that they wore. Learners can then act out their script to the rest of the class.

Activity 3 – Designing a Viking pin badge

Learners will research what a Viking pin badge was and how it was used before designing their own. Learners could include images related to Vikings and use colour to bring their design to life.

Activity 4 – Making a Viking purse

Learners will research what a Viking purse was including who would have used one, what would they have been made from and why they were used. Learners will then create a circle purse or pouch purse depending on their preference. As part of an extension activity learners could make both styles of purses. 

Circle purse

  • Step 1 - Draw round a 150mm circle template onto your chosen material.
  • Step 2 – Cut out the circle and mark eight holes evenly spread around the edge of the fabric.
  • Step 3 – Cut the holes and thread ribbon through them.
  • Step 4 – Gently pull the ribbon to make the purse.

Pouch purse

  • Step 1 – Measure a 100 mm by 100 mm square on a large piece of felt.
  • Step 2 – Fold the felt over and cut to 100 mm then open up the fold.
  • Step 3 – Measure 15 mm in and mark three evenly spaced dots. Fold and snip each dot to create holes for the ribbon.
  • Step 4 – Add decorative stitching to the purse. 
  • Step 5 – Stitch up the two open edges of the purse up to the holes for the ribbon using running stitch or back stitch.
  • Step 6 – OR stitch up the two open edges of the purse up to the holes for the ribbon using blanket stitch.
  • Step 7 – Thread ribbon through the holes and tie.

The Engineering Context

Understanding about the history of engineering and design helps engineers to learn from past successes and mistakes. For example, learning about Viking longboats helps us to understand why boats float and what materials are the best to use in boat construction.

Engineers need to have good literacy and numeracy skills in order to successfully create design solutions and communicate their ideas.

Suggested learning outcomes

It is important for learners to understand about key people and groups of people from history as well as what we learnt from them. This resource combines history with art and design and technology and aims to show how engineering can be built into a wider theme-based multi-lesson project.

Specifically, children will learn how to research and analyse viking longboats including what they were made from and how they worked; they will be able to write and act out a script about how the Vikings lived; they will be able to design a Viking pin badge; and be able to make a Viking purse using one of two different methods.

Download our activity sheet and other teaching resources

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.

The activity sheet includes teachers’ notes, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

You can download our step-by-step instructions below as either a classroom lesson plan or PowerPoint presentation.

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