Archimedes and the Syracusan War

Lesson Plan

By Jon Nichol, published 11th January 2011

Cross-curricular History and Science in the Literacy Hour

Archimedes and how his weapons worked

Archimedes is an excellent subject. Indeed, Archimedes offers an excellent cross-curricular lesson opportunity, as he covers science, mathematics and a range of other areas, including cunning plans to defeat enemy armies and navies.

The previous week we had taught a lesson about how Archimedes had solved the problem of the king's crown: was it solid gold or did it contain a base metal as well? We now moved on to a second case of problem-solving: how Archimedes had managed to beat off the attacks of the Roman navy upon his city of Syracuse.

This was the second lesson with a mixed Year 3/4 class in a small rural primary school. The head, Laura's brief to me was to teach the Literacy Hour using the context of History. The children had already heard all the standard stories about ancient Greece and the Greeks, so Archimedes was a good addition.

For ideas and information about Archimedes and the Syracusan war, consult this wonderful website: Archimedes

(These resources are attached below)