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, students 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
Classroom Considerations
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Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • None
Common Core