World History: Journey Across Time

Chapter 11: Islamic Civilization

Web Activity Lesson Plans

Muslims made many contributions to civilization. As you learned in this chapter, these contributions included advancements in math, science, and the arts. Muslims were known for their beautiful buildings, featuring domes and minarets. One famous Muslim building is the Taj Mahal. Originally built as a tomb for a Mogul ruler's wife, the Taj Mahal is one of the world's most intriguing buildings. In this activity, you'll take a virtual tour of the Taj Mahal. Visit the Explore the Taj Mahal Web site to learn about the inspiration for the building, the architecture, and the preservation efforts for the Taj Mahal.

Destination Title: Explore the Taj Mahal

Lesson Description
Students will learn about the inspiration for and the history behind the Taj Mahal. They will watch four short movies detailing the architecture, inspiration, and preservation efforts of the Taj Mahal. They will then answer four questions about what they've learned. They will apply this knowledge in their own lives by discovering the history behind a monument or building in their hometown.

Instructional Objectives

  • Students will describe the history of the Taj Mahal and gain a better understanding of the challenges the building faces in an industrial age.
  • Students will research the history of a building or monument in their hometown, analyzing the past and present conditions of the building or monument.

Student Web Activity Answers

  • The purpose of the Gateway to the Taj Mahal is to separate the busy outside world from the tranquil setting of the Taj Mahal.
  • The Taj Ganj is referred to as the Mumtazabad because it is believed to be the place where the Mogul ruler Shah Jahan first met his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
  • The wife of Mogul ruler Shah Jahan is the inspiration behind the Taj Mahal. He promised her that he would build a monument in her honor that would match her beauty.
  • Pollutants from factories and carbon monoxide from traffic are causing the Taj Mahal to suffer "marble cancer." Efforts to save the Taj Mahal include all of the following: cleaning the marble; researching cleaning products and waterproofing; preventing rain damage and algae growth; creating a green buffer zone around the Taj Mahal by prohibiting the construction of industrial plants and supporting the planting of trees and shrubs; ordering oil refineries to reduce their pollutant levels; using battery-charged buses to take people to and from the Taj Mahal.
  • Answers will vary but must include images of the building or monument and a history of it.

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