Last week, we combined our study of the Vikings with a new art project — woodburning! We have just started a new unit on the Middle Ages. Last week, we focused on northern Europe and the Vikings/Norsemen. We started by learning the location of the Scandinavian countries. We talked about the “barbarian” invasions of the Roman Empire and read that section in our history book.
- The spine for our Middle Ages unit is Early Times : The Story of the Middle Ages (affiliate link) by Suzanne Strauss Art. We used a book by this author when we studied China’s history and decided to use this one (along with lots of library books). I find these history books work really well for us as read aloud books. I supplement with other history books as well.
If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you probably notice that we read *a lot* of books. A lot of the time, I read aloud while the kids color or work on other projects. We used coloring sheets from the Story of the Vikings Coloring Book (affiliate link) pictured below while we read through some of the history sections.
We also read most of the Norse Myths as well. We all loved these and enjoyed the stories of Odin, Freya, Thor, Loki and more. We used Favorite Norse Myths and D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths. We wound up reading all of the stories from Favorite Norse Myths. While I read aloud, the kids did a really neat art project – woodburning.
I found Viking-style designs online and printed those out. The kids transferred their design onto cedar planks. They did this by shading in the backside of the design with pencil. We then taped the paper onto the wood plank and the kids traced their design.
- What we bought for this project: After looking around, I decided to go with Cedar 4×7 Grilling Planks Plate Size – Restaurant Quantity (affiliate link) because I wanted to be sure they were untreated and safe for the kids tohandle. I bought a set of 50 because in the long run, this works out better for us (lots of crafty people in this family!). This and the woodburning tool was a “Christmas present” to me since I was pretty keen to give it a try too! We got Walnut Hollow Creative Versa Tool with Versa-Temp Temperature Control (affiliate link). It comes with a number of different tips you can use.
Once the design was transferred, I gave the kids a thorough safety lesson. I emphasized how hot the tip was, how it would burn off their hair if they let their hair dangle down, or would melt/burn things if they set it down while it was on. I felt fine letting all of them use the woodburning tool, though I had them wear googles just as an added precaution.
This project was a huge hit. In fact, they enjoyed it so much that they each made two woodburning projects… all the while begging for “just one more” Norse Myth!
You can find a free outline map of Europe by clicking this link.
This week we moved on to the early Middle Ages. I’ll share more about that soon! Stay tuned! ~Liesl and the Kids
Our other posts in our Middle Ages Unit (which include some free notebook pages):
- Vikings, Norse Myths and a Woodburning Craft
- Middle Ages: King Arthur, Charlemagne
- Middle Ages Unit: The Medieval Church and Monasteries Worksheets
- Middle Ages Projects and Books
- Middle Ages – Notebook Pages on England and France (800-1200)
Some of our other history units (We have many free history and world religions packets/notebook pages.):
- Native Americans
- American West
- US Constitution
- Slavery in America
- Genghis Khan
- Ancient Egypt
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