The Sieve of Eratosthenes

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Employing an over 2,000 year old method for determining prime numbers, young mathematicians deepen their number sense in a lesson on factors and multiples. Using the included 100 chart and following the given steps, young scholars systematically cross out composite numbers until they are left with all the prime two-digit numbers.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Begin the lesson by briefly sharing information about the ancient Greek scholar Eratosthenes who originally developed the procedure used in this lesson
  • Take time for students to discuss the patterns they observe with a partner, small group, or the entire class

  • Offers suggestions for adapting and extending the lesson to meet the needs of all learners
  • Includes questions for guiding a discussion about students' findings
  • Worksheet asks learners to write about three observations they made during the activity

  • None
Common Core