Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Medieval Arts: Viking Pendants and European Coat of Arms, 5th grade and 2nd grade
Well, I couldn't teach all about the middle ages without at least one grade learning about Vikings. Pre-assessment for this one was pretty entertaining...ask 5th graders what they know about Vikings, and answers range from How to Train Your Dragon-type information to "they wear braided pigtails and sing opera." No joke. So...to make sure they learned something real about the Vikings, we opened with watching a very informative video that hopefully corrected their incorrect knowledge.
Vikings were best known for their metalwork (after raiding/pillaging, of course), so we used tooling foil to create Viking pendants. Most pendants bore sea serpent/dragon designs and were twisted similarly to Celtic knotwork, so that served as our base design. After creating the knot, a serpent/dragon head or two (or three or four) was added, and the kids also used Viking runes to make it more authentic-looking. This was one of our featured Artsonia projects, so ALL pendants from both schools are available for online viewing, including the pendants below!
Second grade still needed to learn weaving (and the time it was-a-waning) so I decided to combine a European coat of arms with weaving. We discussed the differences between a coat of arms and shields as they look very similar, and created our own from construction paper. A coat of arms (also known as heraldic crest) shows symbols that represent someone's good family name, and is typically made of cloth. A shield can display a coat of arms (so as to know who's who in battle), but is obviously made of stronger materials. Each student was to choose an animal or simple symbol to represent their family and place that silhouette in the center.
Since it was the end of the year, this was a grade-it-and-take-it assignment; I was only able to snag a few for pictures before they all marched out my door forever. Even though they were meant to be a coat-of-arms, there were quite a few that used leftover strips to make some very creative handles on the back.