Using the Vinland Sagas as our best source for our traveler boards, it is important to remember that it is not a strictly historical or geographical treatise. Instead it should be used to help us understand the history of its people. It is a saga or an adventure that is described within its pages. Reading excerpts from pages 76-104 of Erik's Saga will help my students understand this humanity. A middle school friendly version of Leif's travels can be located at http://www.mnc.net/norway/LeifErikson.htm . This will provide us with some of the historical information needed.
What might be more intriguing to my students are mysteries of the maps mentioned above. When considering the validity of the Vinland Map, an excellent source is: http://www.econ.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/vinland/vinland.htm . This, along with a copy of the map itself, can engage my students in a discussion on the merits of the map. At this time I would also present them with a copy of the
Piri Reis Map
(explaining that this is a fake)
and these websites:http://www.world-mysteries.com/sar_1.htm http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/PSEUDOSC/PiriRies.HTM asking them the following:
1 What do maps tell us?
2 What are they drawn on? Why was this medium used?
3 Can this material be placed in that time period?
4 How do we decide whether a map is authentic?
5 Why they are controversial?