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How to Make a Viking Longship Model Out of Paper

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Vikings were Scandinavian warriors, also called Northmen and Norsemen. During the 9th through the 11th centuries, they raided and pillaged northern European coastal cities--aided by boats called "longships." At home, Vikings often were farmers, Encyclopedia Britannica reports. However, at sea, they became much different. Vikings' burned, raped and killed during their raids, leading to the name "vikingr, meaning "pirate" in the early Scandinavian languages," reports Encyclopedia Britannica. Lead your children in a lesson on the Viking age by making a paper model of a longship. This art project requires an empty cereal box.

The Mast

Draw designs on a white sheet of A4 paper. You will be using this paper to form the ship's mast, so brown or black colors would work well to mimic the color of wood. Let your children be creative in drawing on their piece of paper.

Roll the sheet of A4 paper around a new or used pencel. Roll from corner to corner of the piece of paper, advises We and Us' Educational Design Services. You might want to add a dot of glue or a piece of tape to the pencil and paper at first corner to ensure you can roll the paper tightly.

Secure at the remaining corner of the A4 paper with a piece of tape around the paper roll or with dollop of glue directly onto the corner. This is your mast.

The Sail

Print the "sail" using the template provided by We and Us' website.

Cut the sail template with a pair of child-safe scissors. You may want to cut out templates and actual sails ahead of time if you are working with children who may have trouble using the scissors.

Trace the sail template on a piece of construction paper or scrapbook paper of your choice. Use a pencil or a marker to do this.

Embellish the sail with decorations such as sequins or glitter glue. Then, punch a hole in each of the outlined holes on the top and bottom of the sail with a hole punch. Finally, pick up your mast and slip it through the holes like a straw through a cup lid. Your sail and mast are attached now.

The Hull

Print out the longship template provided by We and Us Educational Design Services.

Cut out the longship template and set aside. Then, move to your cereal box. Cut off the top and bottom flaps of the box using child-safe scissors. Always monitor children using scissors.

Flatten the cereal box by pressing down on the side panels. The box should collapse and flatten. For a diagram, see Figure 2 of We and Us' "Make a Viking Longship" instructions. Place the longship template on the cereal box as is shown in Figure 3 in We and Us' "Make a Viking Longship" instructions. You will have two ends of the ship to trace on the front of the cereal box. Trace around the two ships halves with a permanent marker, and cut out the two halves.

Open and press each ship down on your workspace surface. Grasp the middle section of each ship one at a time. Use your fingers to bend the cardboard upward to make an inverted fold. For a diagram, of this step, see Figure 5 in We and Us' "Make a Viking Longship" instructions. Repeat this step with the remaining ship half.

Secure the ship ends by placing four or five stapling around each of the curved sides of the longship halves. See Figure 6 in We and Us' "Make a Viking Longship" instructions. Press on the inverted folds so that the bottoms of the ship halves lay flat. Use tape or hot glue to meld the two halves together. For a diagram of this step, see Figure 8 in We and Us' "Make a Viking Longship" instructions. Finally, glue the bottom of the ship mast to the middle of the longship with hot glue. Squeeze a healthy dollop of hot glue into the middle of the bottom of the ship. Press the end of the mast into the dollop of glue and hold until the glue hardens.

About the Author

Vera Leigh has worked as a professional freelance writer since 2008. Her work has appeared in "Learn Overseas" and "Grad Source" magazines. In addition, she received an honorable mention in "Newsweek's" My Turn contest. She has written features for nonprofits focused on literacy, education, genomics and health. In her spare time, Leigh puts her English major to use by tutoring in grammar and composition.