The Last Viking Returns


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Make-your-own Viking god or goddess

One of the best parts of school visits is seeing the great ideas that schoolkids come up with. Here’s a bunch of viking god and goddesses, designed by students during children’s book week this year. God of Wind, by Tom Isabella the Goddess of Patterns, by Maddy Bothgolong, God of Fire, by Rohan A portrait of Thor that also folds up into a paper plane, by Christian This guy looks familiar… The God of Literature, by Catherine And finally, Optimus Prime, by Brayden. It’s not a viking god but it looks really cool.


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Prepare your classroom for a Viking invasion

Viking boat display at heARTlines Festival 2011

Display by Gidgegannup Primary School students at heARTlines Festival 2011. Teacher: Trevor Dent.

It’s August, which means Children’s Book Week is fast approaching. If you’re a teacher, maybe you’d like to use The Last Viking for one of your classroom displays. Here’s some examples that Norm and I have seen since the book came out.

In the example above, teacher Trevor Dent guided his students from Gidgegannup Primary in making a Viking ship display for the heARTlines Children’s Literature Festival 2011. The centrepiece is a ship painted on to card with a cloth sail. Students have illustrated characters from the book and their own original Viking warriors.

The picture below is a display from Year 1/2 H at Penrith, NSW. They coloured viking ships, swords and shields, and translated their names into runes along the bottom of the display.

Viking artwork display by year 1 and 2 students at Penrith NSW

Below are two photos from a year 3 classroom at Rosalie Primary School. I visited them for their biennial writers’ festival and contributed some drawings. The foam lettering and cardboard viking ship were used in their assembly item (seen playing on the smartboard), in which they acted out the entire book! They performed an inspired closing number- ‘One-Eyed, One-Horned Flying Purple People Eater’. Odin and Thor would be proud of their stellar efforts.

Rosalie Primary School display

Rosalie classroom display 2

Rosalie Primary School display- detail of their cardboard Viking ship

And finally, here are some illustrations by the same talented Rosalie Primary School year 3s. These are pasted to the front and inside of a thank you card the students presented to me. Norm got one too. We were gobsmacked at the creativity in this classroom (which probably has a lot to do with their fantastic teacher, Mrs Goods).

Rosalie Primary students artwork 1

Rosalie artwork 2

One other activity I like to do with students is Viking character design. I talk a little about the Viking gods and what each god or goddess was in charge of. Then I ask the students to imagine that if they were a Viking god or goddess, what would they be in charge of? Then I ask them to draw that character.

There’s more Viking-themed classroom resources on our Resources page. There’s blackline masters for colouring in, a ‘How To Read Runes’ worksheet, and links to activities on the web.

The Teachers page gives you some ideas about how to link The Last Viking in with curriculum, and provides a handy overview of this blog and sorts some useful posts into ready-made lists for you.
Norm and I love seeing the work that students make in response to The Last Viking. If you have any pictures of your own Viking displays or artwork and would like to share them with us via your blog, we’d love to see them- send us a link!


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The Last Simpson

I couldn’t resist this.  I just spent last week at Kensington Primary School as writer-in-residence with a delightful bunch of kids and teachers and while I was there I introduced the Grades Ones to The Last Viking. After we read the story up on the whiteboard, as we now have all the story and pictures digitally but not yet in book form, the little ones then went to their desks to draw the characters from the story. This one is from six year old Zac and it is:

Little Knut, The Last Simpson .  Well done Zac!


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Norman the Norseman’s Son

I just received this poem  from  Pat from Baltimore, USA,   a friend I met through Flickr, the site for photonerds, of which I am a  proud member.  What an astute,  multi-talented woman of immense taste she obviously is.

Norman the Norseman’s son,
(Please don’t mistake him for a Hun!)
Is quite the wild Australian Son.
His Viking book is almost done
I expect it to be a great bit of fun
(At least a ton!)
So when you see it in the bookstores –
Don’t walk – RUN!

Pat 🙂

ps. DId I mention how witty, charming, clever and handsome you both were in the vid? 🙂
pps. I think you should add my epic poem to your blog at least 🙂