World History: Journey Across Time

Chapter 11: Islamic Civilization

Student Web Activity

"Islamic Civilization"

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

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
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Start at the Explore the Taj Mahal Web site.

  • Under the Mini-Movies at the bottom of the page select the photo link to the film titled "The Gateway of the Taj Mahal" to begin your journey. You may also click on the icon to look at the photos and read the text while listening to the narrator.
  • Next, select the photo link to the film titled "The Forecourt and Taj Ganj" to continue learning about the Taj Mahal.
  • Next, click on the photo link to the film titled "The Inspiration for the Taj Mahal."
  • Finally, select the photo link to the film titled "Preserving the Taj Mahal."

After you've watched the four short films, answer the following questions.

What is the purpose of the Gateway to the Taj Mahal?
The Taj Ganj used to be a large, busy bazaar. Why is it referred to as the Mumtazabad?
Where did the inspiration for the Taj Mahal come from?
The Taj Mahal has been "diagnosed" with marble cancer. Explain the contributing factors to the "cancer" and describe the efforts to save the Taj Mahal.
Like the Taj Mahal, many buildings and statues are created in honor of a special person. Take a look around your town and discover the history behind the buildings and sights that you pass by each day. Choose one building or site and create a presentation describing the inspiration for the building and the building's architecture. Your presentation must include drawings or photographs of your building when it was first constructed and a current photograph.
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