Islamic Advances: Math & Science

Week 11: Islamic Advances: Math & Science


View K – 3: These two Youtube videos:

  1. This video is about the start of numbers. It’s fictional but it gives kids a good idea as to why we need numbers, and why the Arabic numbers are so much easier to use.
  2. This video explains the origin of Arabic numbers. Unfortunately, the last bit of the video is cut off.

Read 4 – 6: The Story of Our Numbers by Zelda King

7 – 8:  Science, Medicine, & Math in the Early Islamic World by Trudee Romanek



  • The numbers we use today (0 – 9) are called Arabic numerals, but where did they originally come from? (Hindu mathematicians in India)
  • Why do you believe they are called Arabic numerals? (Europeans learned them from Arab mathematicians.)
  • What numbers were used for math before Arabic numerals? (Roman numerals)
  • Why are Arabic numerals easier to use? (There are ones, tens, & hundreds columns. There is a zero. The numbers don’t take as long to write.)
  • How did the use of Arabic numbers spread to Europe? (Arab mathematicians wrote books on the Arabic number system and taught at universities where their ideas were spread.)
    Question for Grades 4 and up: Look on the map on page 12 of your book. (Pg 7 for Grades 7 – 8).
  • What parts of the world were controlled by the Arab Empire in the Middle Ages? (North Africa, Egypt, most of the Middle East, including Israel & Southern Spain.)
    Questions for Grades 7 – 8:
  • Describe the “Translation Movement.” (Muslim scholars studied and translated writings of brilliant Greek thinkers. They also studied Chinese inventions, and ideas about mathematics and surgery from people of India. Thousands of documents were translated into Arabic.)
  • T/F Muslim leaders set up universities throughout their empire. (T)
  • Describe the Arabic advances in the medical field? (Set up hospitals, studied writings about herbs used for medicines, performed surgeries, used anesthesia, studied the eye and how it worked.)
  • Name some of the machines used by Muslims? (waterwheels, clocks, automatons, windmills)
  • Islamic art during the Middle Ages utilized skills in what form of math? (geometry)

Activities: K – 8: Islamic art and architecture was known for its beautiful, geometric designs. Check out these images from Islamic mosques and other important structures for an idea of their exquisite beauty.,or.r_cp.r_qf.&bvm=bv.51495398,d.dmg&biw=1680&bih=864&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=Nk4lUsWqNcfh4AOm1YBw
(From Google Images Islamic art and architecture)
K – 2: Complete the following worksheet: Use this chart for help in completing the worksheet: The Arabic empire was known for its beautiful, geometrical patterns in its architecture. Color the following worksheet:
3 – 6: Complete the Greek, Roman, and Arabic portions of the following worksheet: A chart for use with the worksheet, as well as an answer key can be found on this page: The Arabic empire was known for its beautiful, geometrical patterns in its architecture. Color the following worksheet:
7 – 8: Write an essay describing Islamic achievements during the Middle Ages in the fields of math, science, art, or all three. Then color the following worksheet, exemplifying Islamic Architecture:

Copyright August 28th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Dark & Middle Ages

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