The Vikings in America
A reading comprehension lesson about the Vikings and the Viking Age. Includes printable teaching lesson worksheet.
• Students will understand who the Vikings were and when they were active.
• Students will be able to identify Viking settlements in Greenland and Canada.
• Students will recognize why the Vikings could be said to have discovered America.
• Students will be able to identify Leif Ericson as the Viking explorer who could be credited with discovering America.
4th Grade - 5th Grade - 6th Grade
Print the reading comprehension passage and questions (see below).
Students should read the passage silently, then answer the questions. Teachers may also use the text as part of a classroom lesson plan.
More than a thousand years ago, a group of people known as Vikings lived in northern Europe. The word "Viking" means creek or inlet. The Vikings got this name because they spent most of their time near the water. They were shipbuilders and traders who also raided towns across the European continent. The Vikings built ships called longships that had both sails and oars so that they did not have to depend on wind to sail. Longships were long and narrow and could move very quickly through the water. The Vikings could get in and out of their ships easily in shallow water.
Most people in Europe were afraid of the Vikings because of their frequent raids. The years from the late 700's to around 1066 A.D. are known as the "Viking Age." During these years, the Vikings traveled both eastward westward by boat in search of new lands to raid and settle in. Around the year 980 A.D., Viking explorers who had traveled west from Europe landed in what is now known as Greenland. The Vikings established a settlement in Greenland that would last for more than 500 years. From Greenland, the Vikings continued to explore.
Print this printable worksheet for this lesson: