Norse Mythology in the Fourth Grade
By Miss Maryann, Class 4 Teacher
18 September, 2019
The children in class 4 recently completed their first main lesson block on Norse Mythology and what an exciting three weeks it was. After hearing about the creation of the world from the remains of an enormous dead giant, Ymir, the children were introduced to Odin, the All-Father; Thor, the god of lightning and thunder and, of course, Loki, the mischievous one.
The nine- to ten-year-old wants to know everything about the world they live in and how it all fits together. Listening to these stories offers them the opportunity to realise that, just like them, the gods also made mistakes while trying to figure out how the world works. The children heard stories filled with suspense and humour, jealousy and greed, adventure and amazing battles. Not only were the children excited by these stories of trickery and magic, but they were also able to identify with the characters on an emotional level.
During the Norse Mythology main lesson the focus is on language and the arts. Every day the children heard a story, or part of a story, and the next day they would recall the previous day’s story. This is done to strengthen their memory and to ensure that the sequence is correct. Then they identify the important parts of the story to develop their summarising skills. On occasion they would act out parts of the story. These times were filled with roars of laughter as the children improvised and showcased their acting abilities. In the last part of the lesson the children quietly worked in their main lesson books, either finishing a drawing they created from the story, or working on a piece of their own writing. The children are encouraged to always first carefully self-edit their own writing, checking for full stops, commas and capital letters and then it is brought to their teacher to help with sentence structure and spelling. The writing process therefore is to sort through the ideas, create a rough draft, edit the piece and then transcribe the final version into their main lesson books.
Even though this main lesson block has come to an end, the children will continue to hear stories of the Norse gods while developing their language skills through speaking, acting and writing their own interpretations of the stories. And before their time in class 4 is over, they will hear of the final battle, Ragnarök, when the worlds that the gods created had to give way to a new, better world.