Linkpagefor the Traveler's Institute

Black Plague

Crusades General Great Khans Ibn Battuta MansaMusa/Africa
Marco Polo
Silk Road
Mesoamerica Journey to the West (Monkey) Prester John South Asia Zheng He Back to class page

Ibn Battuta

The Travels of Ibn Battuta - A Virtual Tour with the 14th Century Traveler,
An extensive unit on Ibn Battuta for the 7th grade written by Nick Bartel, Horace Mann Middle School in San Francisco

Ibn Battuta on the East African Coast
Notes from James A. Jones, Ph.D. West Chester University Department of History

Selections from Travels of Ibn Batuta in Asia and Africa - On Slavery; On Turks(=Tartars), In Anatolia, In Iraq, in Russia, in Astrakhan. Primary source. (From the Medieval Sourcebook)

Mansa Musa/Africa

A narrative life story of and African prince, James Albert Ukawsaw
Timbuktu:A Center for Trade  (you need Acrobat Reader for this one)
Tanya Shaffer's performance telling the true story of her journey up West Africa's Niger River

See also: our class page for the West African epic hero, Sunjata.

Marco Polo

"MarcoPolo and His Travels" - Silkroad Foundation article including history, images and excerpts from the text
MarcoPolo: On the TartarsPrimary source.
MarcoPolo:The Glories of Kinsay (Hangchow). Primary source.

Other European travelers to Mongolia and China:

William of Rubruck - a Franciscan monk sent by the Pope to investigate Mongol society (1253-1255). Primary source.
Johnof Monte Corvino: Report from China 1305 --Franciscan priest and thefirst archbishop of Cambalec (present-day Beijing) in 1307. Primary source.

The Silk Road

Extensive article on history of the Silk Road with images that could be used for Marco Polo projects, by Oliver Wild, 1992
"The Geography of the Silk Road," an article by Ray Gonzales at Humboldt University comparing the Silkroad to the Information Highway
Lesson Plan::  In Celebration of the Silk Road

As a member of the Council of National Treasures, you have been selected to travel to the province of Xinjiang, China, to represent your country at the First International Celebration of the Silk Road. The Xinjiang Trad Commission (XTC) is hosting this exciting event to encourage trade and tourism with the outside world-- and to perhaps rekindle the spirit of cultural exchange that once linked this province to points both east and west. The celebration will culminate with the opening of the Silk Road Museum in Xinjiang's historic city of Turpan, which was once a much welcomed oasis stop for caravans passing through the province.

The Great Khans

Timur Map of the Mongol Empire

Genghis Khan time line by National Geographic

Lesson Plan: Mongolian Museum
You are a curator of a new Mongolian museum exhibit. It will be the first exhibit in history to reveal some of the mysterious artifacts of Mongolia. This could be the break that your curator career has been waiting for! There is only one small problem...the anthropologist who has arranged the shipment of the artifacts in Mongolia has mysteriously disappeared. It does not appear that the anthropologist recorded any descriptions of the artifacts, but he did label each piece. Basically, you have a bunch of crates with old, expensive, and rare "stuff" in them. If you are going to pull off this exhibit, it will be up to you to carefully examine each artifact, identify it, and explain what each piece reveals about Mongolian culture. Once you have determined all you can from each artifact, you will write a description to be included in the museum tour for each piece in the exhibit. You will also create a brochure detailing the exhibit and include a floor plan of the exhibit.

Lesson Plan: The Mongols WebQuest
Your job will be to learn about the culture of the Mongols and their effect on other cultures. They were the most powerful army of their time and no country could defeat them. The Mongols controlled the largest land empire in human history. Students will form teams of anthropologists/researchers. Each team member takes on the duties of a biographer, cartographer, or anthropologist. The team will produce a paper that answers the following questions: (1) What was the impact of the Mongols on Central Asia, China, Russia, Europe, India, and Southwest Asia? and (2) Did the Mongols create a "Pax Mongolia"?


Zheng He (or Cheng Ho)

 Zheng He: Peaceful Ambassador or Imperial aggressor. by Pete Hammer (San Francisco Unified School District, Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program capstone project, 2011)
Houghton Mifflin site on Zheng He
"Should the Ming end the treasure ship voyages?" a lesson plan by Jean Johnson,New York University 
Zheng He (Cheng Ho)Pallop Wilairat, Helms Middle School, San Pablo, CA (adaptation of lesson by Jean Johnson, NYU on the Asia Society web site, AskAsia)
Brief biography of Zheng He with link to longer article from Straits Times, 1995.
Map of Zheng He's route

Journey to the West

Images and introduction to Monkey's Journey to the West
ORIAS resource page from Monkey workshop.

The Crusades

Letters from Crusaders included in Hanover Historical Texts Project for primary texts
Account of the Battle of Hattin, 1187 by a local Frank, "Ernoul", written soon after 1197. See the bottom of this page for links to several similar primary sources.
Medieval Sourcebook: Anna Comnena: The Bad Manners of A Crusading Prince
The French Page: Les Croisades

Quetzalcoatl: TheMan, The Myth, The Legend
Quetzalcoatl Papers
Harappa ExplorersContents
Selection from A Record of Buddhistic Kingdoms (394-414) by Chinese Buddhist monk,Fa-hsien -- an account of his travels to shrines in India.
General Travelers

Discoverer's Web:Primary sources
Discoverer's Web:Alphabetical list
Medieval Sourcebook: Exploration and Expansion
Travelers lesson plan for 6th grade using The Golden Goblet byEloise Jarvis McGraw
Lesson Plan: Explorers Homeport From the Bellingham School District (WA).
Writing a web-based research paper using Columbus, Magellan and Pisarro. Designed for 5th grade but could easily be used in middle school.

National Center for History in the School
The Center publishes its National History Standards both online and in print form. It also has published over 60 World History and United States History teaching units. Each topical unit contains a rich collection of primary sources All handouts and primary sources are reproducible for classroom use.
Bring History Alive!sample
Bring History Alive!
Travel Buddies Travel buddies are soft toys or puppets that travel the world as a representativefor your class.
California State Standards for History/Social Science
Publisher'sOnline Store
Historical Travel: Books on Travel published in India

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