Lesson Plan

Ibn Battuta: World Traveler

Recognizing the Achievements and Travels of Muslim Explorers
Brenny J.
Classroom teacher
Central Middle School
Columbus, IN
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My Grades 7
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

  • identify Muslim explorers (Ibn Battuta)
  • explain the significance of Muslim explorers and Muslim empires
Social Studies
cultural understanding
historical figures
the economy
Grades 6 - 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook/Attention Grabber

  • Have student volunteer read aloud the daily lesson goal for the day. Teachers can opt to have students write the daily goal and reasons for the goal in a weekly learning log or journal.
  • Next, for the lesson hook, have students respond to the prompt on the Padlet.
  • Use a timer and give students 2-3 minutes to respond.
  • If some students prefer to handwrite, provide that option.
  • After timer goes off, students converse in groups about what they wrote.
  • After another 2-3 minute timer, the whole class will discuss what they share. Key themes to hit upon are homesickness, excitement, and growth as a result of travels. Use these to segue into the next part of the lesson. Transition to the next part of the lesson by telling students that like them, others have traveled in history, felt homesick, grew from their travels, and had fun traveling. Tell them that today they will be learning about the a famous world traveler whose travels helped shaped our world history and provided us with knowledge in a Dark Time that otherwise would not have been recorded (Ibn Battuta).
Student Instructions
  • Read and write the daily lesson goal.
  • Write on this Padlet prompt OR on a piece of paper (2-3 minutes).
  • Discuss your responses with your peers (table group)-2-3 minutes.
  • Share answers with class.

2 Direct Instruction

  • The above resource for the attention grabber is a "Guess Who" activity. In this activity, the teacher can read the script written as if the reader were the famous explorer, Ibn Battuta, or a student may read it. As the reader reads, students are trying to figure out who this explorer may be. Tragically, most students will not know who this famous explorer is because he is left out of most history textbooks they've read up until this point-so, upon the completion of the script, the students will use their devices to "look up" and see who this person is based upon the reading. Students are given a copy of the script so they may follow along and use it for reference while they listen/research.
  • While students listen, the teacher must put a visual on the board to assist students in this activity and visualizing where this explorer traveled. A sample visual could include photos of Ibn Battuta and the locations of his travels.
  • After time has passed, share with students the name of the explorer and give a brief synopsis of who he was (Muslim explorer) and what he did (traveled 75,000 miles by foot/horse and visited all major Islam kingdoms). Instruct students they will be doing independent research to learn about this person.
Student Instructions
  • Read/listen to the script read by your teacher/student. 
  • As you read/listen, try to figure out WHO the famous figure is.
  • If you can't figure it out yet, on your teacher's cue, see if you can figure out who this famous individual is using your Chromebook/device.

3 Guided Practice

Students will now embark on their own internet research to learn more about Ibn Battuta. They may work with their table groups as they complete research and the teacher will be available for helping, floating around the classroom to answer questions during research.

Use this page to help students organize their research

To conduct research, students can use websites like Ducksters, Google search, and excerpts from the Rihla from Fordham University (also linked).

When students complete their research, they will move on to the activity to show their understanding. This is an independent activity in which they will have choice in how they show their understanding.

Student Instructions

Students will use the Google Doc notes sheet to take notes on Ibn Battuta during research. Use trustworthy websites!

When finished, you will do independent work to show your understanding.

4 Independent Practice

Students will be given a choice board to show their understanding of the lesson goal. In this activity, they will choose a form of action/expression to show who Ibn Battuta was and why he was important. They will need to use the information from their research to help support their assignment.

For student assignment choices, check the assignment choice board here.

Student Instructions

You will now show your understanding  using a format of your choice. 

To show your understanding, you must include information from your research/notes sheet as well as information that displays who Ibn Battuta was and why he and his travels were important.

Click here for the assignment choice board.