
Newton's Dark Secrets


Viewing Ideas


Before Watching
Ask students what they know about Sir Isaac Newton. List student answers on the
board. Where and when did he live? What did he do? What is he most known
for?
Organize students into three groups. As they watch, have each group take
notes on one of the following topics: Newton's key scientific and mathematical
discoveries, his religious journey, and his work in alchemy.
After Watching
Have students who took notes on the same topic meet and present their notes.
Ask the following questions as different teams share their notes: What were
some of Newton's mathematical and scientific contributions? Which are important
in the world today? What role did religion play in his life? Why was he
interested in alchemy?
Lead a discussion about Newton's interest in alchemy. What first attracted
Newton to alchemy? What was he looking for? Why might Newton have felt the need
to keep his alchemical work a secret? Why did he eventually abandon alchemy?
How does alchemy compare to today's chemistry?
Provide students with information about Newton from different science and
history texts. How does the information compare to what they saw in the
program? How, if at all, have their impressions about Newton changed after
viewing the program?

