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Greek Inventions: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Susan Mendes

Susan has taught students in Kindergarten through eighth grade and has a master's degree in educational leadership.

Learn about the inventions of Ancient Greece, many of which are still used today! Discover how the Ancient Greeks made advancements in thinking and actions related to math, science, government, and more.

Social Sciences

Democracy

Democracy is often considered the greatest gift of Ancient Greece to the Western world. Athens, the capital city of Greece, became the world's first democracy around 508 B.C. The ancient Greeks established a system of democracy, where citizens can vote to elect fellow citizens to represent them in the government. Unfortunately, women, people born outside of Athens, and slaves were not able to vote in this earliest democracy.

Philosophy

The ancient Greeks established a system of philosophy through which they tried to explain the world around them and how it worked without using myth, religion or superstitions. In order to do this, they used science to study astronomy, geography, and biology. The most famous philosophers to come from Greece were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Aristotle
Aristotle

Items and Events

Alarm Clock

Do you or your family set an alarm each morning to wake up? If so, you can thank the Greeks for this piece of technology! Although the alarm clocks of the Greeks looked very different from those we use today, its concept was to use pebbles to make noise at pre-set times. The famous Greek philosopher, Plato, was known to use an alarm clock to wake him up for his lectures at dawn.

Ancient Greek alarm clock
Clock

Cartography

If you're lost, what would you use to find your way back home? Maybe you're thinking Google maps, GPS, or a basic map. Either way, the Greeks were the first to come up with the concept of creating world maps for travel, information, and direction! The Greek cartographer Anaximander was the first person to draw a map of the world as the Ancient Greeks knew it, which included the Middle East and parts of Africa.

Olympics

Every four years the exciting sporting event known as the Olympics takes place. The best athletes from around the world meet to compete and win a gold, silver or bronze medal for their country. This sporting competition began in Greece in 776 B.C., or 2,700 years ago! At that time, Greeks from around the country came to participate in and watch various sporting events, and watch the winners receive wreaths or crowns as a prize.

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