Lesson Plan

The Daily Maths of Ancient Civilizations

Multiplications and divisions with Word Problems
Fanny P.
Technology coordinator
Mercedes-Benz International School
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, World Languages, English Language Learning, Health & Wellness
Digitial Citizenship and EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to identify multiplication and division operation, understand word problems and new vocabulary and concept such as "rounding a number", "average" and words that imply mathematical calculations: "share", "each".
The lesson is a series of problem-solving activities with puzzles and in the form of a game, following "Breakout EDU".

Grades 3
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Backstory


The teacher tells a story:

We are going on a quest to find out more about the daily mathematics expertise of the ancient civilizations. About 5000 years ago, just like today, people needed maths everyday! Let’s find out the typical calculations they were doing in the context of their daily activities and break the mysteries we come across. 


Student Instructions

The students listen and then watch the video made by their teacher to start solving the first math problem.

2 Breakout EDU Game

Setup Instructions: Step by step how should the facilitator set up the room. We recommended creating a short YouTube video setting up a sample room. Nothing fancy, just a one take wander around the room showing how you set it up.  (Be sure to include all the all combinations to it is easy for teacher to set up.)

1- Leave a locked iPad (4 digit password protected), a box (locked with a 2 digits and has an image of a boat on it - make sure this box has the UV light and the QR Code ) with the group, start the 40-min-timer and show the short video for the first math problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlqDBAGcQqw (use subtitles for ELA students)

Problem #1 (video)

185 traders from Indus Valley travelled on camels to Afghanistan. Round this number to the nearest 100.  Each trader sold 6 bags of cotton at Rs 8 per bag. How much money did the traders make altogether?


The answer is 9600

This is the code to open the iPad (locked) and see a google doc open to Problem #2:

The total amount was then put equally into 4 treasure boxes. How much went in each box? Write your answer to open the encrypted message here.


The answer is 2400

Students decrypt  and read Problem #3:

100  Romans were on their way to Ancient Greece to visit the Parthenon to worship goddess Athena. On the way 24 stopped to cleanse themselves at the Roman baths. The remaining traveled by boat, 4 in each. How many boats did they need?


The answer is 22 boats

The students can now open the box (which has an image of a boat on the lock ) and find a UV light and a QR code . This box is located near a wall where a laminated blank clock has been placed (along with an erasable marker). They can use the iPad to scan the QR code taking them to Problem #4:

The boats left the shore at 3:15pm and took 2 hrs 45 min, what time did they reach? Write this time on the clock.


The answer is 6h30

The students put the time on the clock and it gives them a direction to find the key to open a hidden box which contains another a small mirror, a black paper (which has Problem #5 written with invisible ink):

2000 fishes were caught between 25 fishermen in the Mediterranean Sea. On an average how many did each one catch?

this box also has a code which has numbers and letters as follow:

0 = SE

5 = RU

1 = IT

6 = LO

2 = SK

7 = EY

3 = MA

8 = VA

4 = OM

9 = ZT

The students use the UV light to read the problem and find that the answer is 80

The students need to break the number/letter code and find that “80” is VASE.

They look for a vase in the classroom. They find Problem #6 (mirror image text):

(Out of the 2000 fish, the fisherman traded 1200 of them and shared the rest between them. How many did they get each?)

They figure out they need to use the mirror and then calculate.

The answer is 32

The can use the legend again and find the word: MASK

Behind the mask, the students will finally find the message:  “You escaped!” on a piece of paper.

Whether the students actually escaped or not, take a picture of the group (Slides for the photo.) and reflect about the experience, in particular about the process of collaborating.

Student Instructions

The students will have to read various problems and unlock boxes and passwords in order to go to the next challenge.

The students are only directed by the clues and organize themselves in order to solve the problems.

They are expected to collaborate and be autonomous while the teacher is observing them work.

3 Reflection

Activity: Other — Reflecting

The teacher asks various questions to make the students reflect on their experience (whether they could finish the game or not):

What did you learn?

How did you feel in the group?

What were the obstacles that you came across?

If you had to re-do this activity, what would you change?

What was the best part of the game? ...


Student Instructions

The students take turns in replying to the questions.