​Year 4 create Viking… | Independent Primary School Buckinghamshire

​Year 4 create Viking kennings

This week Year 4 have been creating their own kennings poems to describe Viking objects, such as swords and shields. This is particularly appropriate for our topic this term, since kennings originated in Anglo- Saxon and Norse language. In a kenning, an object is described in a two word phrase which is linked with a hyphen, such as ‘whale-road’ for ‘sea’. Some kennings can be more obscure than others, almost becoming a riddle. When the children developed a series of kennings to create a poem, they thought carefully about how to order these. They soon realised that the most obvious clues were best left until last, in order to keep the reader thinking and engaged. Discussing ideas and acting out movements helped the children to think of powerful verbs to show what a shield could do. Below are some examples of the great kennings they created.

Ship- decorator

Round faced- concealer


Rival- repeller




Hatred- protector

Damage- defender

Arrow- interceptor


Over half term, please ensure that your child has chosen and learnt a poem they would like to recite for the ESB exam. We encourage the children to choose a poem they really enjoy and it can be about any topic. The recital needs to be approximately 2 mins long but this can include the introduction (title and poet) at the beginning. We will be developing our performance skills after half term, so it is vital the children have learnt the words by this point. Thank you in advance for your support with this.

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