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Core Content Unit - The Vikings - Vocabulary and Content - Distance Learning

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th
Formats Included
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30 pages
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Meet your content and literacy standards at the same time!

You get:

-Five grade level passages (Do you Know the Vikings?, Leif the Lucky, King Cnut the Great, Idun and her Magic Apples, and Raiders and Traders)

-Four days of lesson plans to teach the vocabulary and concepts

-Independent practice pages

-Materials for Interactive practice

-Assessments (with rubrics and answer keys!)


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This unit contains five original passages (four non-fiction and one fiction) that teach core history content about Vikings. Students love this content, and it’s a great way to begin or extend a unit on explorers. The first article confronts the common misperception that Vikings were only fierce warriors, and the second article builds students' knowledge about Viking culture and the Viking Age. The third lesson provides two biographies, one about Leif Erikson and one about King Cnut the Great. Students learn about these two famous Vikings. The final passage is a fiction passage that retells a myth about the Goddess Idun and the God Loki.

All vocabulary is introduced in the context of an authentic passage, giving students the opportunity to build deep, nuanced understanding of the word meaning. Lesson plans for teaching the academic vocabulary and concepts are included, including a lesson on using context clues to build meaning of words and a lesson on the Greek root terr. Other lesson plans give students an opportunity to discuss important aspects of Viking culture, and to practice the target vocabulary (conquer, territory, support, throughout, eventually, region, fierce, culture, raid, settlement and intrepid). These are the routines that I have used successfully in my classroom to help students own the words and transfer them to their writing and speaking.

Wide reading of non-fiction texts is an essential shift in the Common Core, and this text set will help you and your students achieve that goal. The passages are intentionally short, and the vocabulary and concepts spiral across four days, giving students multiple encounters with the same ideas and words. These passages are at a Lexile between 900 - 1100, making them most appropriate for fourth and fifth grade students. In about 15 minutes a day, you will increase your students' knowledge about key content and their academic vocabulary!

Already have a robust vocabulary program? No worries! These passages are short enough to use in a variety of ways - close reading, supplements to your social studies curriculum, center activities, bell ringers, jig-saw..... The opportunities are as endless as the needs of your students!

I always appreciate your feedback and questions. Please use the Q and A if you have any questions and let me know if you would like similar text sets on different topics! I'm always writing, and love to get new ideas that will be useful to my customers and their students!

Happy teaching!

Total Pages
30 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
90 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal contrast, addition, and other logical relationships (e.g., however, although, nevertheless, similarly, moreover, in addition).
Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis).
Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grade 5 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.


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