Learning about the Vikings? Us, too! To celebrate the completion of the unit, we threw a Viking celebration feast! Check out the details below to see how we brought history to life!
History is my favorite subject to teach the kids. Not only do we get pulled into the stories, it also brings up incredible conversation topics and gives us many chances to connect fun experiences to learning. This year we are learning about early American history through Beautiful Feet, a literary based curriculum.
See all our current curriculum picks for first and third grade here.
We adore this curriculum, and have used it before for world geography. Literary-based means it uses books to teach history, breaking each one into digestible chunks and offering thoughtful questions and discussion points along the way.
The curriculum is engaging, well thought out, and includes the best extras that bring learning to life. My favorite example of this in our current curriculum is The Historic Table feature in each unit that features foods authentic to the time period and/or people we are learning about.
We just finished our unit on the Vikings, which was taught using the book Leif the Lucky. We all really enjoyed the story of Erik the Red and his son Leif, and all their adventures, including being the first Europeans to set up a settlement in North America. What, not Christopher Columbus?!- the girls’ minds were blown.
In celebration of our conclusion of the study, we had a Viking feast! There isn’t much more we enjoy that connecting a celebration with education. Our Harry Potter book party is still one we talk about weekly. Food and fun just makes things stick in the brain.
We donned our Viking helmets and gathered our goodies. For our feast we had the following Norwegian foods that were listed in the Historic Table section of the teacher’s guide:
- smoked salmon
- rye bread
- cream cheese
- jam (we couldn’t find lingonberry, so substituted strawberry)
- Swiss cheese
- fresh dill
I was so proud of the girls for trying all the foods! None of us were wild about the salmon (we wouldn’t have lasted long as a Viking for that, among other reasons), but the capers were a surprise hit! The Swiss cheese was loved by all, but the girls said they’d stick to sourdough over rye.
The real star of the show was the cake. The recipe was listed in the Historic Table section of the Beautiful Feet teacher’s guide and was a bit more intimidating than I initially guessed. However, the girls dove in and had a ball learning new techniques.
From separating eggs to whipping egg whites for meringue to making homemade whipped cream, they did it all. And the result was worth it. Apparently the name of the cake translates to Best Ever and it really was. We devoured it.
We listened to Norwegian language being spoken (thank you, internet), reread our favorite parts of Leif the Lucky, finished coloring the pictures in our history journal, and enjoyed laughing at each other’s expressions as we sampled the foods.
Next week we will begin our unit on the Indigenous people and the girls are already chomping at the bit. If only every subject could be this much fun!
What was your favorite subject in school?
I’ve always loved history (I’m a sucker for a good documentary on the subject, too) and appreciate the teachers I had that were passionate about it as well and really made it come to life (ie: Mrs. Battle! Yes, my AP History teacher’s name was really Mrs. Battle. How amazing is that?)