World History: Journey Across Time

Chapter 12: China in the Middle Ages

Web Activity Lesson Plans

During the Middle Ages—under the leadership of Mongol emperor Kublai Khan—China reached the height of its wealth and power. As you've learned in this chapter, China received many foreigners who traveled great distances over the Silk Road to visit China's capital city. They were impressed by its wide streets, beautiful palaces, and splendid homes. Marco Polo is perhaps one of the most famous Europeans to visit China. In this activity, you will visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art Web site to "walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo" as he journeyed along the Silk Road.

Destination Title: Metropolitan Museum of Art

Lesson Description
Students will walk in the footsteps of Marco Polo. They will learn about his journey and the places he visited. Students will answer four questions about what they've learned. Then they will research a country they would like to visit. They will analyze the country, the people, and the sights.

Instructional Objectives

  • Students will describe the journeys of Marco Polo and the court of Kublai Khan.
  • Students will research and analyze a country, its people, and the sights.

Student Web Activity Answers

  • Marco Polo was seventeen when he began his journey. The journey lasted 24 years.
  • Marco Polo could travel freely throughout the Mongol territories because Kublai Khan gave him a gold passport that allowed him to travel through the country.
  • During a regional war between Venice and Genoa, Marco Polo was imprisoned. While in prison, he dictated his book to his cellmate. Christopher Columbus was inspired by Marco's book A Description of the World.
  • Marco Polo described the court of Kublai Khan as a very beautiful place. "The walls of the halls and chambers are all covered with gold and silver and decorated with pictures of dragons and birds and horsemen and various breeds of beasts and scenes of battle."
  • Answers will vary.

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