Over the past three days, Year Six have visited the Ancient Technology Centre to live a day in the life of a Viking. We had an absolutely fantastic time! When we arrived at the centre, we were invited into our home for the day: a Viking longhouse, complete with Runes all over the walls! The children learned how to light a fire, before embarking on their activities.
We then had the chance to make bread from scratch. The first step was taking the grains and grinding them using rotating millstones to make a fine flour. We also tried grinding them between two flat stones, which was much harder! Meanwhile we learned how to make butter by mixing cream until it splits into buttermilk and butter. The buttermilk we saved to turn our grains into flatbread, combining it with delicious herbs to cook on an open fire.
Later on in the day, Year Six learned how the Vikings trapped their fish. The answer was quite surprising – woven baskets! After this Year Six had an opportunity to try weaving themselves, by weaving willow into a small fence that would protect food from hungry rabbits. We then had the chance to learn what herbs were used for in the Viking household, and we washed our hands with a leaf!
Next was the forge. Year Six became Viking blacksmiths as we used the bellows, and hammered out a piece of iron to create a knife. We even twisted and curled the end with a hammer to create the finished product you will see in the pictures.
Finally we played some Viking games while the bread cooked; we played one that was used for shield practice, and another that was used to improve the children's accuracy with throwing sticks, called Kubb.
Finally the food was ready, and we headed inside to eat the bread that we had made, with butter that we had made, spread with the knife that we had also made! It was a wonderful experience, thoroughly enjoyed by all. It was an excellent way to learn about Viking home life, thank you to the A.T.C for such a great experience.
A big thank you to all the parent helpers who came along with us, without which it would not have been possible!
Here are some pictures from Friday's visit, more to come soon!
Want to find out more about Vikings? Click here.
ATC Website, click here.