Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unit Study: Norse Mythology

One of the things I'm doing differently this year is allowing each of the kids to pick a unit for one-on-one study -- in the past, we've all done the same unit.  String Bean chose doing history through the use of the Royal Diary series from Scholastic; we're going to go through them chronologically, attempting to hit all the high points in history and all the continents (so history and geography combined).  We've finished Isabel: Jewel of Castilla (1466, Spain) and have moved on to Anacaona: Golden Flower (1490, Haiti). 

BamBam chose mythology, fueld in part by his fascination with playing a computer-based game called Age of Mythology (whatever works, eh?).  We just finished up our study of Norse mythology and we're moving into Greek mythology.

The cool thing about studying Norse mythology is the variety of subjects we can include:  history, literature, geography, and yes even knitting!

Here's BamBam's (real) name in runes ... we found a few cool web-sites that taught us the alphabet and BamBam wrote his whole name (which is amazingly long!) and practiced other words.  I then transferred his fist name to graph-paper and designed a rune sweater just for the boy-child which will be a lasting reminder of our study of Norse mythology. 

We used the D'Aulaires' Book of Norse Myths as our spine and then supplemented with internet and other-book research.  I love the D'Aulaires' art-work and the stories are fun to read, while giving the pertinent details.  BamBam often pulled out the Dover's Norse Gods and Goddesses coloring book and colored the character about whom we were reading.  The cool thing about the Dover coloring books is that they have great additional information and stories on the opposite page of the picture -- when the stories didn't exactly gibe with the D'Aulaires' version, we talked about the differences, how they occur and why some aspects might be different.  It was great fun.

Here are some of the websites we also used to supplement our reading:

  1. Norse Myths -- great map of the Norse area, a "norse family tree" to help keep all the gods and others straight!

  2. The Gods and Goddesses of Norse Mythology -- additional source for background stories and additional hijinks of these "better-than-human" folks.

  3. The Vikings: Lesson Plans, Daily Life and More -- adds in lots of background on the Vikings; great links to lesson plans and activities with a Nordic theme.

  4. Runic Alphabets -- scroll down and you'll find the various alphabets used; we used the Medieval version that we got here (as it seemed the most basic)
This was a great unit for us ... and BamBam seems to like his sweater (and the hat that was the gauge swatch), coming:

or going ....

1 comment:

  1. Your unit on Norse Mythology was VERY helpful! Thanks so much!!!! K. Foster, 6th gr. English teacher, Illinois