Long before Christopher Columbus set out from Spain to chart a new course to Asia, another nautical navigator had landed in, and left, the New World.
Norse explorer Leif Erikson is regarded as the first European to land in the North America. On the date commemorating Erikson’s historic voyage, Bennion Junior High history teacher Brian Fries celebrates with full Viking vigor with his students.
“He is my absolute favorite,” Fries said. “[Students] love hearing the story of the Norse people and the adventures that brought Leif to North America.”
Dressed in Viking garb, and encouraging his students to do likewise, Fries spends the day teaching about the importance of what led to the discovery of North America.
“When I think of these people in 1,000 A.D. exploring the world around us I find myself in awe of that feat,” Fries said. “Their technology was limited, but their courage was off the charts.”
Needless to say students in Fries’ classes look forward to Leif Erikson Day and the chance to be submersed in Norse culture.
“It’s a great story that inspires students to do what they love, and love what they do.”