Learning the Centuries in Elementary School: A History and Math Combination

As a high school history teacher, I always was surprised at how confused students were by the centuries. The concept that the centuries didn’t match up with the corresponding dates caused lots of confusion forcing me to abandon planned lessons temporarily as I explicitly taught and drilled centuries. But introducing them in the elementary school can help students build this important history skill as well as practice math skills.

Teaching the centuries as both a math and history lesson is a great way to combine two subjects. You can get your students to practice math skills while working on a history skill at the same time!


Resource prints in black and white. I used marker to add the colors.

Students work with ordinal numbers while placing them in chronological order. Students can also match the correct dates with the centuries to further their thinking skills.


This TpT resource will work for grades K – 2 and includes different lesson ideas for each grade level.

Work with select centuries or all of them depending on your student’s abilities. Randomize the centuries or really challenge students but throwing all of them in a pile and seeing how many students can get correct. It all depends on your commitment level and students abilities.

This resource aligns with one Common Core math standard in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.

  • K.CC.C.6
  • 1.NBT.B.3
  • 2.NBT.A.4

Centuries for Elementary Students

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