STEAM education and the ancient Greek civilization with jigsaw method

The past comes into the present embraces with stem education because as the ancient Greek writer Ploutarchos said, the mind of children is not a container that we have to fill but a fire that we have to light.

By Margarita Dakoronia, primary school teacher of 32nd Primary School of Piraeus-Greece, and her 21 amazing 9 years old students


We meet the ancient Greek civilization based on steam education. And the jigsaw educational method helps us in this activity. Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a “home” group to specialize in one aspect of a topic. Our topics will be science, technology, reading, arts, and maths in Cycladic, Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations in ancient Greece.

Our resources:, youtube with the videos which I have added in the presentation, Europeana, the following greek museum Santorini museum, Knossos museum, Mykeanes and ideas for stem activities from scientix, nasa stem, vivifystem.

Aims of the project:

  • to acquaint students with ancient Greek culture through a different perspective -stem in history
  • to cooperate in the production of the desired result
  • to teach interdisciplinary traditional teaching subjects such as history
  • to find the best possible solutions by collaborating
  • to teach their peer based in jigsaw method
  • to create through the areas that interest them by participating in the team of their choice, as professionals

The project is scheduled based on the following relevant trends and innovations 4c’ skills:

Project based learning: The pupils ought to schedule the steps of the project, to collaborative in groups with their peers and each of the group to produce the materials for the specific period.

Collaborative learning: Collaboration is very necessary to our project. The groups collaborate at the three steps of jigsaw method to succeed their goals. The jigsaw method helps the kids to collaborate and to teach each other. The role of the teacher is only instructive.

Steam learning: Each group of the 5 historical period create the materials depend on steam acronym.

Science: the evolution of life, the search for the extinction of the dinosaurs, the discovery of the wheel, the discovery of writing, the eruption of the volcano of Santorini in 1500 BC and the destruction of ancient civilizations in ancient Greece.

Technology: the construction of the wheel that is considered the most important ancient invention and the programming of our robot – the first wheel to move between our ancient settlements.

Engineering: the architecture and the construction of the first settlements in Greece, in Dimini and Hoirokitia as well as a house of the Minoan period

Art: the group of artists created rock paintings of caves, murals, vases and seals used by ancient civilizations for their financial transactions

Mathematics: Mathematicians engaged in the construction of a vessel similar to what is considered the first computer and was a creation of the Minoan civilization. They measured the distances that the points on the vessel that show the seasons and the months should have.

For the realization of the project, I tried to encourage and cultivate the development of the Creativity , the Critical Thinking, the Communication and the Collaboration, the 4c’ skills of 21st century.

Dates: 1st of April-29th of April 2022, we worked on this project about three hours per week.

1st step: The children were initially divided into composition groups. I assign one of the group members the role of coordinator and distribute the necessary material for the children to study. The student coordinator instructs each student to study in depth a part of the content, taking on the role of expert. The groups have on their tablets the following presentation to study.

 2nd step: Specialization groups are created. Each group of specialists brings together the people from the initial groups who have undertaken the same common subset of the learning object. So we were divided into the following groups

  • the group of Paleolithic civilization
  • the group of Neolithic civilization
  • the group of Cycladic civilization
  • the group of Minoan civilization and
  • the group of Mycenaean civilization

3rd step: Ιn each culture group the children according to their preferences undertook to present the following thematic and they also teach their peers what they have learnt for the period that they have examed:

  • Sciences
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Art and
  • Mathematics

Paleolithic civilization

We started from the moment of the creation of the earth and examined the evolution of the species as Scientists. They showed great interest in the dinosaur period, as Artists painted and made comics about the extinction of the dinosaurs. They researched the species of dinosaurs and their categories according to the type of food in herbivores and carnivores.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Paleolithic period

Neolithic civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Engineers making the first Paleolithic settlements and planning our robot to visit them since at this time we have the discovery of the wheel so the scientists worked on the construction of the wheel. And the Artists painted their first rock paintings.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Neolithic period

Cycladic civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Artists who painted famous murals as well as the first seal stones that the merchants of that time needed for their financial transactions.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Cycladic period 1st

Minoan civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Scientists and Mathematicians who tried to make the vessel that is considered as the first computer. The Artists who created the album of Phaistos, one of the oldest inscriptions in the world. This scripture has not yet been read.

Photos with kids’ activities for the Minoan period 1st

Mycenaean civilization

The team that worked for this period, was the Engineering who built great ships-robots so that the Mycenaeans could develop trade and become the largest naval power of their time,

Photos with kids’ activities for the Mycenaean period (a file)