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Marco Polo Lesson Plan

Marco Polo Lesson Plan

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Published by Jessie Kettner

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Published by: Jessie Kettner on Dec 06, 2012
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Lesson Plan: Marco Polo, and Economic Impacts of Exploration Class/Subject:10th World History Student Objectives

/Student Outcomes: ● Students will be able to identify and understand the differences between primary and secondary sources. ● Students will work on their interpersonal skills when discussing both primary and secondary sources in small groups. ● Students will analyze primary documents and understand its historical impact in relation to the larger themes being discussed in the class. Content Standards: ● 16.A.4a Analyze and report historical events to determine cause and effect relationships. ● 18.C.4a Analyze major cultural exchanges of the past (e.g., Colombian exchange, the Silk Road, the Crusades) Materials/Resources Technology: ● For each class period, we will need: ○ 2 large sheets of paper ○ 2 markers/sharpies ● Teacher will bring in a few copies of the primary source quotes being used. ● Teacher will also bring 25 copies per class of the secondary source handout. ● Students will need a writing utensil. Teacher’s Goals: ● Teacher will enhance the student’s abilities to read and comprehend historical information. ● Teacher will further develop student’s group work, reading, and writing skills.

TIME Start of Class: At the start of class, students will be asked to put turn their desks around to face the other way. Students will put away everything except a writing utensil. This will help to set the stage for a divided classroom activity. Introduction of Lesson: At this point we will introduce the activity for that class period. Students will count off by 2s in order to split the classroom into two groups. One group will start analyzing the primary source and the other group will start with the secondary source.




Lesson Instruction: Each group should spend roughly 15 at each station. The group analyzing the primary source will go over three different excerpts written by Marco Polo. The teacher will pose questions and facilitate discussion for these primary documents, and write the findings for the group on a large piece of paper. These will be displayed in the classroom at the end of the day. Students at the secondary source station will read an excerpt about Marco Polo and answer a few multiple choice questions about it. They will also discuss the differences between the primary sources and secondary source. Assessments/Checks for Understanding/Review: During this time, we will regroup as an entire class. Students will turn their desks around again so they are facing their normal direction. From here, we will review everything we have talked about, and expand upon it. This discussion will be based off of the readings, and anything that students find interesting about them. This discussion will act as a less formal formative assessment, allowing us to check our students’ understanding of the topic as well as reiterate the key points made that day in class. Assessment: If not completed, students will complete and turn in the questions from the secondary source the following day.


Passages from “The travels of Marco Polo, the Venetian:the translation of Marsden revised, with a selection of his notes”

Importance of Trade near Yellow River: “There is here an extensive manufacture of silks, which are exported in large quantities to other parts by the navigation of the river, which continues to pass amongst towns and castles, and the people subsist entirely by trade.” (Page 285-86) Paper Money:

“The money or currency they make use of is thus prepared. Their gold is formed into small rods, and (being cut into certain lengths) passes according to its weight, without a a stamp. This is their greater money: the smaller is of the following description. In this country there are saltsprings, from which they manufacture salt by boiling it in small pans. when the water has boiled for an hour it becomes a kind of paste, which is formed into cakes of the value of two-pence each. These, which are flat on the lower, and convex on the upper side, are placed upon hot tiles, near a fire, in order to dry and harden. On this latter species of money the stamp of the grand khan is impressed, and it cannot be prepared by any other than his own officers. Eighty of the cakes are made to pass fora saggio of gold. But when these are carried

by the traders amongst the inhabitants of the mountains and other parts little frequented, they obtain a saggio of gold for sixty, fifty or even forty of the salt cakes in proportion as they find the natives less civilized, further removed from the towns, and more accustomed to remain on the same spot; inasmuch as people so circumstanced cannot always have a market for their gold, musk, and other commodities.” (Page 259-260)

Description of the Island of Chipangu, and the Great Kaan’s Despatch of a Host against it:
“The people are white, civilized, and wellfavoured. They are Idolaters, and are

dependent on nobody. And I can tell you the quantity of gold they have is endless; for they find it in their own Islands, [and the King does not allow it to be exported. Moreover] few merchants visit the country because it is so far from the main land, and thus it comes to pass that their gold is abundant beyond all measure.” (Page 235236)

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