Anglo Saxon Theme

'An Anglo Saxon Theme!

Oh no!' you cry!

Who were the Anglo Saxons anyway? Where did they live ? What did they wear? What was life like 1600 years ago in Britain? And what activities can I do to inspire my kids? 

Panic not. Help is at hand!

Just scroll down and start planning! 

Who were the Anglo Saxons?

The Anglo Saxons were a fierce bunch of warriors who invaded Britain about 1600 years ago.

They were made up of three tribes, the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes and came from Germany, Holland and Denmark. The largest of the tribes being the Angles and the Saxons,hence the name 'The Anglo Saxons.'

It is believed that their lands had suffered flooding. So, unable to grow crops or build new homes in their own countries, they were on the look out for somewhere new!

Saxon Ships

The Anglo Saxons sailed across the north sea in boats. These boats were made of wood and were fitted with oars along the entire length of both sides of the ship. Later versions had a sail made of woven cloth to take some of the strain off the oarsmen on longer journeys.

They were also double ended. This meant that they could reverse quickly without the need to turn the ship around

Make a Saxon Boat

Begin your Anglo Saxon theme by challenging your kids to build a boat They can use books from the booklist below or look on the internet for ideas.

Ask them to draw a diagram of their boat before they start to make it and decide what materials they will need.

See if any of them think of putting shields along the hull.

Here are a few things you might like to have to hand!

Card [fairly stiff]

scissors   

paint   

straws or matchsticks 

white sheeting for the sail -----------  and more perhaps!

You might like to make a classroom  display of the children's armada of Saxon ships!  See picture above!

Anglo Saxon Settlements

When the Anglo Saxons arrived in Britain they found the towns and cities left behind by the Romans. The Romans were far more sophisticated than the Saxons but as the Saxons were mostly farmers and country people they didn't want to live in towns and cities,They preferred a much quieter rural life where they could grow their own crops and house their animals.

Go to the West Stow Anglo Saxon village website and look at pictures of what the houses and village looked like in those days, 

Discuss with the children where they think the anglo saxons would have built their villages?

What would they need to have close at hand? eg water, wood and fertile land to plant their crops. What else might  be important to them?

Activity1

Give the children a copy of a simple map showing a river, a wood, a hill and a piece of fertile land near the river and ask them to decide in pairs or groups where the Anglo Saxons might have built their settlement, 

Would they build them right next to the river? If not, why not? [Flooding perhaps?]

What about on the top of the hill? Would that have it's drawbacks? If so what would they be? [Too far from water maybe?] On the other hand would they feel safer there knowing they could see their enemies approaching?

Ask them to write their reasons for their decisions!

Make sure they understand there is no right or wrong answers to this activity! 

Activity 2

Ask the children to find out about Saxon houses. Look in books and on the web and decide what they will need to make a model of one. If you're thinking of making a classroom display of a Saxon settlement then it might be a good idea to make sure all the houses are of a similar size.

And don't forget to use all the ideas they had for where the village should be situated.

Activity 3

Make a list of the things they might find inside a Saxon house. Then draw a plan to show the positions of all those things.

What about the animals? Where would they live?

Welcome!

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