The king of Dal Riada, Kenneth MacAlpin, wanted to become king of Pictland too. He firstly dealt with the Vikings by letting them keep everything they had conquered and marrying off his children to powerful members of their tribe. He also joined forces with the Vikings to take on the Britons. He kept both the Scotti and the Picts happy by respecting their respective churches and customs and giving his children Scotti and Pictish names. He employed a storyteller to invent stories about him to tell of his bravery and noble bloodline. Kenneth MacAlpin was a clever, ruthless and successful king, and after his reign, the Picts and the Scotti were united.
In groups ask pupils to list all the things that Kenneth MacAlpin did to unite the Scotti and Picts. Similarly get them to list the advantages and disadvantages of Kenneth MacAlpin being king, from the Picts' point of view. Ask pupils to research why St Andrews was important as a religious site. Discuss with your class why we need to speculate about Kenneth MacAlpin’s actions due to the lack of written evidence.