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Perhaps, you may find this of interest to use with your students.


Leif Eriksson Day is October 9th.

October 9, 2023, is Leif Eriksson Day. Eriksson, a Viking (Norse) and son of Erik the Red, was born around 970 AD, in Iceland. It is believed that Eriksson (also spelled Ericson, Erikson) sailed to North America (area of Canada) around the year 1000 and named the area Vinland. Although some say the name was for the wild grapes found growing in the area, others say the name means "land of meadows".He eventually left and returned to Greenland and never sailed back to North America again. Erikson is recognized by many as being the first European to reach North America, almost 400 years before Columbus arrived in 1492. In Newfoundland, Canada, a camp discovered in the 1960s, supported the fact that Vikings reached the area around the 11th century. The archaeological site is called L'Anse aux Meadows. Learn more here: L'Anse aux Meadows
The first U.S. president to sign a proclamation declaring Leif Erikson Day (October 9th) was Franklin D. Roosevelt. The year was 1935. Since President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964, Leif Erikson Day, has been given yearly recognition by U.S. presidents. The day is an opportunity to share the contributions of Americans of Nordic heritage. NOTE: Bjarni Herjulfsson, an Icelandic seatrader is also believed to have spotted the continent of North America but didn't explore the area about 14 years earlier than Leif Ericsson. To date, Canada has yet to recognize Leif Erikson Day.



What do YOU know about the Vikings?

Did You Know?


1. Those horned helmets, you often see with Vikings did not really exist. There weren't any horns on their helmets.


2. In addition to a statue to Leif Ericksson in the countries of Norway and Iceland, there are statues of Leif Ericsson in several cities in the United States: Minnesota, Boston, Cleveland and Seattle.


3. Vikings had "fire-starters"". They mixed urine(sodium nitrate is found in urine) with a fungus called touchwood which was found on tree bark. The felt-like cloth would smolder for days so Vikings could take their "firestarter" with them!


4. Some Vikings invaded other groups of people, frightening them by wearing wolf and bear skins. The word berserk comes from Berserkers, these particular Vikings.


5. The first President to give Leif Eriksson credit for being the first European to discover America was Calvin Coolidge. He gave a speech where he made the statement.


6
. Leif Eriksson was honored with a U.S. Postage Stamp, in 1968.


7. The word "law" comes from the Norse language. It is estimated that 20% of words in English come from the Norse language.


8.
In a time when most people didn't bath on a regular basis, the Vikings had razors, tweezers and archeologists have even found ear cleaners left behind from Norsemen.


9. Vikings named three of the days of the week, still used today. Vikings worshipped
many gods. On Wednesday,they honored,Odin god of war(chief god). This became Wodensday(Wednesday). Thursday honored,Thor, god of thunder, and was called Thorsday(Thursday). Friday, was the day to honor their female goddess,Freya,goddess of love. Freyasday became Friday.


10. Viking last names(called your surname was based on the Patronymicnaming system. This system is used today in the country of Iceland, home to the early Vikings. Leif, as Erik's son, got the last name of Eriksson(son of Erik). A daughter of Erik, would have been named Erikdottir.(daughter of Erik).Thus, the last names in a family are different.



ACTIVITIES:

  1. The Vikings used a writing system called Runes. Try writing a message using the Old Norse writing system.https://www.teachingideas.co.uk/vikings/the-viking-alphabetand http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ancient/write-your-name-in-runes.html


2. Icelandic sagas,(stories), told of the Vikings times. Read a story from the Vikings:http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=brown&book=giants&story=eye How Odin lost his Eye and http://www.mainlesson.com/display.php?author=brown&book=giants&story=house In the Giant's House.


3. Draw a Viking ship. Write a day in the life of a Viking. What did you do? See? on your voyage.https://www.dkfindout.com/us/history/vikings/


4. Another possible writing activity. The Viking myths(stories) told of a giant mean wolf named Fenrir. Write a story about the wolf. Draw a picture of Fenrir.https://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/giants/fenrir/


5. Have students write a paragraph using 10 words which come from the Norse language:
https://www.babbel.com/en/magazine/139-norse-words


Check out this Resource on the Vikings:



Part of my Ms. Bie Ografee Talk Show Series of plays, Leif Ericsson and his father, Eric the Red are guests on Ms. Bie Ografee's Talk Show. They share information about their lives and the Vikings. There is a Did You Know? section of fun facts, reading comprehension questions and a teacher section with lots of extension activities, links and the key.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Vikings-Leif-Erikkson-and-Eric-the-RedReaders-Theater-Script-3382114


  • Note: There are different spellings for Leif Ericsson' name.



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