Archimedes Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan helps you present the essence of what we know about Archimedes' life and inventions. It also offers several important discussion topics and an activity designed to solidify the students' understanding of Archimedes' impact on society.

Learning Objective:

After this lesson, students should be able to:

  • discuss Archimedes' life (where he was from and what was his profession?)
  • know what Archimedes discovered/invented
  • explain Archimedes' role in math


1-2 hours

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.1

Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.7

Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

Materials Needed

  • Students may need to use textbooks, videos, websites, and articles based on science and history for the activity
  • Poster board or materials for making a model
  • Bowl of water
  • Corks
  • Rocks and/or pebbles

Key Vocabulary

  • Archimedes Principle
  • Archimedes screw
  • Claw of Archimedes
  • Heat ray


  • Start the lesson by asking: Who is Archimedes?
  • Allow a quick class discussion.
  • Show the class the video Who is Archimedes? - Biography, Inventions & Contributions.
  • Pause the video at 1:02.
    • Who was Archimedes? When and where did he live? Have the students discuss what we know about Archimedes, his life, and his death.
  • Resume the video and pause at 1:45. Discuss with students how the Archimedes Principle relates to the concept of buoyancy.

Buoyancy Activity

  • So students have the chance to understand buoyancy and experience it hands on, fill a small bowl with water.
  • Allow students to place the corks and rocks in the water.
  • Have students notice how some items are more buoyant or less buoyant.
  • Have students go back to their seats and have a whole class discussion on why some objects are more or less buoyant.

Back to the Lesson

  • Play the lesson and pause at 2:00.
    • What is the Archimedes screw and what did it help solve?
  • Again play the lesson, pausing at 2:26.
    • What were the heat ray and Claw of Archimedes used for?
  • Discuss whether or not the claw and heat ray have any verifiable proof for their existence with the class.
  • As a class take a few minutes to quickly research the claw and heat ray, looking at examples of when and how they were used (and against whom).
  • Watch the rest of the lesson, answering any remaining questions.
  • Have students complete the quiz to test for understanding.

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