SRSP 11-16 Topic 3 Unit 1b – The Greeks


In this topic pupils examine the growth of scientific ideas in Ancient Greece, from the first natural philosophers of Ionia, through Plato and Aristotle in Athens to Ptolemy of Alexandria.

They are encouraged to reflect on the influences of Ancient Greek ideas on the growth and direction of science, religion and culture.

The Ancient Greeks were the first to recognize that:

Nature embodies profound truths that go beyond appearances

These truths can be observed, measured, modelled and used for prediction

There is an underlying cosmic order which is open to being understood.

This unit consists of 3 lessons and is suitable for students aged from 11 to 13 years, and 2 lessons for students from 14 to 16 years.

Key Questions

  • What did the Greeks believe about how the world works?
  • Was religion seen as a negative or a positive influence in thinking and discovery?
  • What relationships existed between religion and science at this time?

Some of the materials can be viewed on screen and some can be downloaded for editing or printing. To view the pdf files you need Adobe Acrobat Reader. See the about section for more details.

Ages 11-14

Unit Resources

Unit Overview (Word)


Lesson 1

Lesson Plan: The first Natural Philosophers (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 1: My name is Petrius (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 2: Opposite Statements (Word)

Student Worksheet: What is everything made of? (Word)


Lesson 2

Lesson Plan: Building blocks, shadows and ideas (Word)

Student Worksheet: Building blocks, shadows and ideas (Word)


Lesson 3

Lesson Plan: Aristotle, Ptolemy and their influence on medieval world views (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 1a: Who was Aristotle? (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 1b: Who was Ptolemy? (Word)

Student Worksheet 1a: The Medieval universe (higher ability) (Word)

Student Worksheet 1a: The Medieval universe (lower ability) (Word)


Ages 14-16

Unit Resources

Unit Overview (Word)

PowerPoint 1: All about ancient Greece (PPT)

PowerPoint 2: All about Greek religion (PPT)


Lesson 1

Lesson Plan: Greek thinkers (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 1 (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 2 (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 3 (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 4 (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 5 (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 6 (Word)

Student Resource Sheet 7 (Word)

Student Worksheet (Word)


Lesson 2

Lesson Plan: What about religion in ancient Greece? (Word)

Student Resource 1: A brief introduction to Ancient Greek religion (Word)

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