I took a class in college about the subject and thought it would be fun to share it with my children. They weren’t too sure about it being fun. They were more excited about it when they realized the Norse are also known as Scandinavians, and Vikings; as in How to Train your Dragon Vikings.
We started off with a lesson in the names and realms of Scandinavian Mythology. In case you missed my very interesting college class on Norse Mythology, here’s a little rundown of some of the big names. Odin, the chief god; Thor, Odin’s son; Hel, you guessed it, the hag that ruled the underworld; Tyr, the god of war; and Freya, the goddess of love and beauty.
The next day we learned the Viking’s left more of a mark on us than we realized. I’m sure you figured out what place is named after the hag Hel. The rest of the gods listed above are the roots for some of the names of our days. Tyr’s day became Tuesday, Odin is also known as Woden and his day is Wednesday, Thor’s day is Thursday, and the lovely Feryda is the namesake of Friday. Don’t think only days of the week originated from Viking words. I learned from What Your Third Grader Needs to Knowthe English words ugly, happy, die, husband, and my favorite berserk, began as Viking words.
Next we learned a little about the day to day activities of the Vikings. They were a fairly clean people, bathing weekly and washing their faces and hair more frequently. Men and women brushed and styled their hair, many men even bleached their hair yellow. We also talked about the average diet of a Viking diet. They ate a lot of meat and apparently drank a lot of mead!
We wrapped up our week by comparing the Norse gods to the Greek and Romangods. They all have a god for thunder, the ocean, and love with a little overlapping. The closest match up was Hermod the messenger and the Greek’s Hermes. And since it was the final day of the week, we spent a couple of hours learning How to Train You Dragon.