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Topic - History and Geography

Summer Term Topic

This term our topic is Ancient Greece. In History the children will be learning all about the different periods of Ancient Greek history, how we can use artefacts and stories to find out about Ancient Greece, daily life in Ancient Greece and the birth of the Olympics. In Geography they will be finding out about the landscape and climate of Greece and how that influenced the development of Ancient Greece.. See the Knowledge Organiser below for all the things that children will be learning.

Lesson 1- The geography of Greece

Have a look at the map and pictures below. What can you see? What does this tell you about the climate and physical landscape of Greece?

Remember :

Climate is the average weather conditions over a long period of time.

Weather is a specific event like a rain storm or hot day that happens over a few hours, days and weeks.




Greek Landscape

Look at the websites below to find out some more about the geography of Greece.




You have a choice of two activities (or do both if you like).


You are on holiday in Greece. Write a postcard to a friend telling them about what it is like in Greece.

You need to include information on the climate, weather, the landscape and what you have seen. 
use the template below or create your own (you can draw the picture on the front).


Can you make a travel guide about Greece. Use the template below and look at the websites above for information to include in your travel guide. There is a WAGOL to help you too (don’t copy it though!)

How did the geography of Greece influence the development of Ancient Greece? Have a look at the slides below.



Lesson 2- A timeline of Ancient Greece

We will be travelling back in time to Ancient Greece. Look at the timeline below to see where it fits in with other periods of history you have learnt about.


Read about Ancient Greece on the BBC website below. Find out about the different periods of Ancient Greek history.


Now make your own timeline of Ancient Greece using the information you have found out.

Here is an example but can you include information about each period.

Lesson 3 - Life in Ancient Greece

Have a look at the information on the BBC website below to find out about what family life was like in Ancient Greece. Do you think it was the same for rich and poor people. Why?

The following activities will help you find out more about life in Ancient Greece using different sources of evidence. They will help you to understand how we know about things that happened so long ago.


Activity 1 - The Agora

The Agora was the market place. Have a look at the painting below. What can you see? Why do you think people visited the Agora?

Have a look at the document below which has different people talking about their reasons to visit the Agora. Pretend to be some of the different people on the cards. Ask someone in your family to interview you about why you are going to the Agora.
Look at the pictures of Ancient Greek artefacts below. They are all show things that would have been sold at the Agora. What do they tell you? Try and work out the answer to the questions by looking closely at the objects.


Slide 1: Fishmonger

Slide 2: Olive farmer

Slide 3 : Cobbler (makes shoes).


Did you get them all right?

Read this description of the Agora written at the time.

Activity 2 - Pots

Pots from Ancient Greece are an important way we can find out about what life was like as they are often decorated with scenes of everyday life. 
Have a look at the pot below and see if you can choose the right answer to describe the picture. 



Have a go at another one...
What is happening here? Try and work it out and then look below for the answer. No cheating!

Lesson 4 - The Ancient Greeks at War

Ancient Greece was not one country as Greece is today, it was made up of lots of small states that were often fighting. Find out more about the Ancient Greeks at War on the BBC website below.


Activity 1 - The Battle of Marathon

The Battle of Marathon took place in September 490 BC on the plain of Marathon. It was fought between the Athenians and the Persians. Athens was supported by a small force from the city of Platea. The battle was the end of the first attempt by Persia, under King Darius I, to conquer Greece. It was part of the first Greco-Persian war.


Look at the slides to find out more about the a Battle of Marathon and then complete the activity to put the events in the correct order.

Put the events from the battle into the correct order. You can print the sheet and cut them out or write them out in the correct order.

Battle of Marathon (Horrible Histories)

Find out about the battle of a Marathon

There were a number of reasons why the Athenians beat the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. Look at the list below and order them from the most important to the least. Explain your decisions.
Reasons The Athenians won the Battle of Marathon Rank by importance 1-10
Miltiades knew about Persian weapons and fighting.  

The place where the battle took place allowed the Athenians to wait safely until the right

moment to attack.


The Persian army was made up of fighting men from tribes that Persia had

recently conquered. They may not have been so keen to fight.


It was difficult for the Persians to escape because they were trapped between

the sea and the hills.

The Greek soldiers were better protected with solid breastplates, shields and javelins.  
Miltiades attacked when he knew the Persian cavalry was absent.  
The Athenians were more determined to fight to defend their country.  
The Persians had lighter armour, with wicker shields and bows and arrows.  
The Athenian plan made the Persians think they could win easily.  
King Darius was over-confident.  


Have a look at these pictures to see if they help you make your decisions.
Activity 2. - Sparta
Watch the videos below that talk about the differences between life in Athens and Sparta. Where would you rather live?
After click on the worksheet link and identify which statements are about Athens and which are about Sparta. You can print it or write 2 lists of facts one for Athens and one for Sparta.

Life in Athens & Sparta

In this episode of Garner It!, we take a look at the differences between the city-states of Athens and Sparta. We compare their lifestyles, governments, economy, education and more.

This is Sparta: Fierce warriors of the ancient world - Craig Zimmer

Find out what it was like to grow up in Ancient Sparta.

Lesson 5 - The Olympics
Find out about the origin of the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece. Click on the link below to find out more.
Look at the website below and find out what would happen over the 5 days of the Olympics in Ancient Greece.
What athletic events can you see depicted on the pots below?


The Pentathlon and the Ancient Greek Olympic Games.

Find out about the events that made up the Pentathlon.

The Pentathlon was made up of five different events and took place on the afternoon of day two of the ancient Greek Olympic Games. If one athlete won the first three events – discus, javelin and jumping – the final two events, running and wrestling, were cancelled.

Discus Throwing
This was the first of the five events. To ensure fairness, three official discuses were kept at Olympia and we believe that throwers made a three-quarter turn before throwing.
Most surviving ancient discuses are made from bronze.

Javelin Throwing
Javelins were made from elder wood and were made to be about the height of the athlete. Athletic javelins were made lighter than military ones, to throw for distance.
Javelins were thrown using a leather thong wrapped around the shaft. This would unwind to make the shaft spin and ensure a steadier flight.

Long Jump
We believe that the long jump was a standing jump, using two weights called halteres,
These halteres would be made from stone or metal, probably lead. The style of the weights changed with time. Pegs in the ground marked previous jumps in the competition.
The long jump was often accompanied by music.

If there were no winner after the first three events, the next would be running.
This would usually be a sprint, one or two lengths of the stadium.
There was a starting block of grooved stone and the athletes stood with arms stretched forward, one foot in front of the other.
False starts were punished by flogging.
Reaching the turning post could cause collisions, fouling and cheating during the turn.

Wrestling was the last event.
The wrestlers were covered in oil so it was hard for them to get a grip on each other.
If an athlete’s back or shoulders touched the ground, it was a “fall”. Three falls won the fight. Fights went on until there was a winner.
Refereeing was easy, as sand from the ground showed if shoulders or back had touched.


Look at the slideshow of artefacts showing these different events. Can you work out which shows which event?


The Games were not just a sporting event. Look through a programme of events and try to find out  the two other main things that mattered to the Greeks.

Can you see that there was a strong religious element as well as the Games being used to practice events that would help them in war time. Look at the events and sort them into 3 areas:

  •  religion ( prayers, sacrifices),
  • sport,
  • preparing for war ( chariot racing etc).


Lesson 6 - The Legacy of Ancient Greece


How did the Greeks change the world? Find out by looking at the BBC website and watching the video below.

Ancient Greece for Kids | Learn all Ancient Greek history with this fun overview

Come learn all about Ancient Greek history in our video "Ancient Greece for Kids".

Activity 1 - Odd one out

Have a look at the images relating to the legacy of what the Ancient Greeks left behind and how they have influenced our lives today. Can you work out which are Greek influenced images and which are not. There are 6 pictures that shouldn’t be there (red herrings). Can you spot them?

1. Eureka – Greek word meaning ‘I have found it!
2. Argosy – Sea voyage – named after ‘The Argo’, the ship from Homer’s Jason and the Golden Fleece also poetic name for a large merchant ship
3. Alpha – Initial letter of Greek alphabet, equivalent to our letter‘A’. With ‘beta’ (second letter of Greek alphabet) makes the word ‘alphabet’.
4. *Iron – Red Herring
5. Marathon – a famous battle took place here where the out-numbered Greek army defeated the Persians. Greek soldier, Pheiddippides, ran to Athens and possibly back again to ask for help. Modern Olympic event is named after his run
6. Archimedes screw method of raising water had a Greek inventor
7. * Scissors – Red Herring
8. Book of Greek myths and legends
9. Modern theatre in horseshoe shape
10. House of Commons – democracy
11. The alphabet
12. *Bullet train – Red Herring
13. Building featuring columns etc reflecting Greek influence – White House
14. Parthenon (today)
15. Ostracons
16. *Baked beans tin – Red Herring
17. Pythagoras theorem
18. Modern Olympic medal recipient.
19.  Wooden Horse of Troy – legend
20. Omega – last letter of the Greek alphabet
21.  * Football – Red Herring
22. Olympic rings
23. Jury
24. *Crossword – Red Herring
25.  **Computer – the inclusion of this might spark an interesting debate as to whether the Greeks and Romans had indeed developed a primitive form of computer although clearly this is a modern one which comes with chips!
26. Doctor examining a patient: The Hippocratic oath doctors have to swear is Greek
Activity 2 - Great Greeks
Read about some of the famous Ancient Greeks who have influenced life today.

Activity 3 - Greek Language

Find 15 words in this story that derive from Greek words. Score points for each one you get right.



Check your answers here.

More on Ancient Greece

Find out more about Ancient Greece here....

Watch this compilation of Horrible Histories Groovy Greeks for some fun facts about Ancient Greece.

Horrible Histories - Groovy Greeks | Compilation

Learn more about the Groovy Greeks in this compilation.

Take this quiz to find out how much you know about Ancient Greece.