To help us understand why so many of the Vikings who visited England decided to settle there, we played a trading game. We split into two teams: the Vikings worked by the open classroom door to represent the colder weather we know there is in Scandinavia; the Anglo-Saxons worked in the book corner to represent the more pleasant climate of England. Each team had a King, three traders and lots of farmers. The farmers cut out products that their country would produce and at the end of each round, the Viking traders rowed over to England to trade their goods. While they were trading, some of the Vikings thought that England was rather nice, and so decided to stay.
Things got even more difficult for the Vikings when a cold winter made it difficult for them to cut timber to make tools so they had to work without enough scissors for the whole team. Also many of the animals they hunted survived the winter so they had to draw their own products rather than cutting out templates. This made life in England seem even more tempting and lots of the Viking farmers decided they would like to move to this fertile land they had heard so much about!
Some of the English welcomed the newcomers as it would mean more farmers to produce more crops; others didn’t want the Vikings to stay as they would have to share the resources of their country. Meanwhile, many of the Vikings still in Scandinavia missed their friends who had left, and one Viking trader who settled in England to become a farmer realised he missed his old trading job!
This helped us to better understand some of the causes and consequences of the Vikings invading and settling in England.