Mansa Musa s Pilgrimage Grade Seven

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1 Ohio Standards Connection: Geography Benchmark A Identify on a map the location of major physical and human features of each continent. Indicator 2 On a map, identify places related to the historical events being studied and explain their significance. Social Studies Skills and Methods Benchmark B Organize historical information in text or graphic format and analyze the information in order to draw conclusions. Indicator 1 Describe historical events and issues from the perspectives of people living at the time in order to avoid evaluating the past in terms of today s norms and values. Lesson Summary: In this lesson students are challenged to create a picture book of the pilgrimage of West African ruler Mansa Musa. It integrates social studies skills and methods with geography as students imagine they are traveling across Africa into Asia with Mansa Musa. This lesson can be used during a unit on West African Kingdoms. Estimated Duration: Two to three hours Commentary: This lesson addresses indicators from both geography and social studies skills and methods. Students will be engaged in activities designed to help them understand historical perspective as they create a picture book documenting Mansa Musa s pilgrimage. One teacher noted that it really gives students the opportunity to be creative. Pre-Assessment: Post both indicators on the board or an overhead projector and discuss. Distribute a blank outline map of Africa and the Saudi Arabian peninsula. Have students locate and label the following places: Egypt Red Sea Indian Ocean Sahara Desert Nile River Mediterranean Sea Atlantic Ocean Saudi Arabia West Africa Scoring Guidelines: Students who are able to correctly identify the locations of seven or more of the required places should be encouraged to pursue extension activities. Students who have correctly identified the locations five to seven of the required places are prepared to participate in the lesson as written. Students who can only correctly identify four or fewer of the required places should participate in the lesson with extra emphasis on the geography of northern Africa. Post-Assessment: Distribute Attachment B, Post-Assessment, and materials to create picture books. Display and explain the instructions on an overhead or chalkboard. 1

2 Scoring Guidelines: See rubric on Attachment B. Mansa Musa s Pilgrimage Grade Seven Instructional Procedures: Day One 1. Implement the pre-assessment. 2. After they have completed their pre-assessment, provide students with an atlas. 3. Have students switch to a colored pencil and correct their maps to reflect the accurate locations of the places from the pre-assessment. Have students add the following places to their maps: Cairo Mecca Timbuktu Mali Empire Niger River 4. Review the map with students and clarify any misconceptions. Days Two and Three 5. Engage students interest by telling the story of Mansa Musa s pilgrimage around 700 years ago. Discuss the purpose of the pilgrimage and the hardships the group may have faced along the way. Use the provided information on Attachment A, Notes on Mansa Musa. 6. Distribute Attachment C, Research Assignment. 7. Read and explain the instructions. Have students research the significance of each of the places for Mansa Musa or his journey. Allow students time to complete their research using available resources. 8. Review Attachment C and discuss student responses. Sample answers are provided on Attachment D. Day Four 9. Have students create a blank picture book to be used for the post-assessment. a. Distribute six pieces of drawing paper to each student. b. Have students fold all six pieces in half width-wise. c. Have students place three staples along the edge in order to fasten the papers together. d. Have students number the inside pages one to nine. 10. Have students imagine they are a government official preparing to travel with Mansa Musa. Ask students to think about the pilgrimage as if it were a journey they were asked to take part in. Conduct a class discussion using questions such as: Would you be excited to go? What fears might you have about the trip? What supplies would you bring? What type of transportation will you use? How long do you think the journey will take? What places are you looking forward to seeing? 11. Instruct students to complete Attachment B, Post-Assessment, as if they were a government official traveling with Mansa Musa on his pilgrimage. Remind them to keep in mind their assigned perspective and the historical time period. 2

3 Differentiated Instruction: Instruction is differentiated according to learner needs, to help all learners either meet the intent of the specified indicator(s) or, if the indicator is already met, to advance beyond the specified indicator(s). Allow students to work independently, in pairs or heterogeneous groups to complete the pre-assessment outline map. Provide a variety of resources including pictures, print, internet and video for students to research places along Mansa Musa s journey. Challenge students to report on the salt and gold trade. Instruct students to include a map of trade routes. Extension: Have students research and create a map showing trade patterns in Africa during the 13 th and 14 th centuries. Have students calculate supplies needed for such a large group of people traveling together. Homework Options and Homework Connections: Have students monitor newspapers, television news reports and Internet news sources for information on current events in northern and western Africa, as well as the Saudi Arabian peninsula. As students share their summaries of the events they learned about, have them plot locations on a class map. Have students create maps showing the route of a family trip. Instruct them to label each place stopped and write a short summary of its significance for the trip. Interdisciplinary Connections: English Language Arts Writing Applications Standard Benchmark D: Produce informational essays or reports that convey a clear and accurate perspective and support the main ideas with facts, details, examples and explanations. Indicator 4: Write informational essays or reports, including research, that present a literal understanding of the topic, include specific facts, details and examples from multiple sources, and create an organizing structure appropriate to the purpose, audience and context. Materials and Resources: The inclusion of a specific resource in any lesson formulated by the Ohio Department of Education should not be interpreted as an endorsement of that particular resource, or any of its contents, by the Ohio Department of Education. The Ohio Department of Education does not endorse any particular resource. The Web addresses listed are for a given site s main page, therefore, it may be necessary to search within that site to find the specific information required for a given lesson. Please note that information published on the Internet changes over time, therefore the links provided may no longer contain the specific information related to a given lesson. Teachers are advised to preview all sites before using them with students. 3

4 For the teacher: Overhead projector, transparencies, outline map of Africa/Saudi Arabian peninsula, research resources, Internet access. For the students: Pencils, colored pencils, six sheets of drawing paper, stapler, access to research resources, atlases, Internet access. Vocabulary: caravan perspective Hajj significance pilgrimage desert Islam Muslim Mecca Technology Connections: Internet access can be used to conduct research. Word processing or publishing software can be used in the creation of picture books. Research Connections: Marzano, R. et al. Classroom Instructions that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement, Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervisioiculum Development, Nonlinguistic representations, including drawing pictures and pictographs, help students think about and recall knowledge. General Tips: Schedule time for students to use a computer lab with Internet access or provide encyclopedias, trade books and textbooks as resources. Attachments: Attachment A, Notes on Mansa Musa Attachment B, Post-Assessment Attachment C, Research Assignment Attachment D, Research Assignment Sample Answers 4

5 Attachment A Notes on Mansa Musa In order to gain a basic understanding of Mansa Musa s famous pilgrimage, the class should read his story from a few different resources. A few important notes are included to help guide background research prior to the lesson. Mansa Musa was the leader of the Mali Empire for 25 years. During that time, Mansa Musa brought prosperity and stability to Mali. His empire controlled the lucrative salt and gold trades of Africa, providing Mansa Musa with the money and power to expand his empire. He was a devoted Muslim who practiced religious tolerance. He built magnificent mosques throughout Mali. Mali was recognized among the leading trade centers throughout Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean Coast. In 1324, he organized a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca. Estimates of the size of Mansa Musa s caravan vary based on the source: Camels: 60 to 100 with 100 to 300 pounds of gold each People: 50,000 to 100,000 The pilgrimage is said to have included 12,000 slaves, 500 of whom each carried a solid gold staff. He helped improve the status of Timbuktu, the famous religious and learning center of West Africa. Timbuktu became a meeting place for scholars and artists. Some reports say that Mansa Musa spent so much gold in Egypt that its value fell and did not recover for a number of years. He brought back to Mali an Arabic library, religious scholars and architects. 5

6 Attachment B Post-Assessment Name: Directions: Imagine you are a government official traveling with Mansa Musa. You have been asked to create a book documenting Mansa Musa s pilgrimage. Mansa Musa has offered a few guidelines to help with the creation of the book. The following steps should make this task easy to complete: 1. Point of View: The book should be created from the perspective of a government official who participated in the pilgrimage. 2. Create a cover page: include a color illustration related to Mansa Musa or his pilgrimage and a title. 3. Create the pages: each page should include a number, a colored illustration, a key place and a three-sentence explanation of the significance of the place in relation to Mansa Musa or his pilgrimage. 4. Use this list to create the pages: Page 1- Africa Page 2- Mali Empire Page 3 - Niger River Page 4 - Timbuktu Page 5 - Sahara Desert Page 6 - Nile River Page 7 - Cairo Page 8 - Mecca Page 9 - A map of Mansa Musa s pilgrimage route: (include the places from pages one through eight) 6

7 Attachment B (continued) Post-Assessment Rubric Cover Page 4 Points Exceeds the Standard Uses color creatively 3 Points Meets the Standard Uses adequate color 2 Points Approaching the Standard Uses little color 1 Point Attempting the Standard No color used Provides a creative title Provides a clear title Provides an unclear title No title included Picture addresses the topic Picture partially addresses the topic Picture does not address the topic No picture included Content Describes the significance or importance of each place Defines the places Incorrectly defines the places Fails to define or describe significance of places All pages include accurate content Most pages include accurate content Some pages include accurate content Few pages include accurate content Illustrations Illustrations are clear and are creatively colored Illustrations are clear and have color Illustrations are clear but not colored Illustrations are unclear All pages include pictures related to the key places Most pages include pictures related to the key places Some pages include pictures related to the key places Few pages include pictures related to the key places Grammar Three or more sentences per page Two sentences per page One sentence per page Fragmented sentences only Few or no grammatical errors Occasional errors Frequent grammatical errors Grammatical errors impede understanding 7

8 Attachment C Research Assignment Name: Directions: Use the list of the places that were on Mansa Musa s pilgrimage route and explain their significance to the pilgrimage: Mali Empire, Timbuktu, Sahara Desert, Cairo, Mecca, Niger River, Nile River. Look for information that has a religious, cultural or historical importance. Place: /Significance: Place: /Significance: 8

9 Attachment D Research Assignment Sample Answers Student answers will vary based on available sources and student judgment. Answers should reflect an effort to make a connection to Mansa Musa or the pilgrimage. Accept answers that show logical thinking and understanding. Place: Mali Empire Significance: Mansa Musa s empire in Western Africa. He ruled Mali for 25 years. Mali controlled the salt and gold trade in Africa. Place: Timbuktu Significance: Great trading city in Mali Empire. During Mansa Musa s reign it became known as a city of learning with many scholars and artists. Place: Sahara Desert Significance: Great desert in northern Africa. Mansa Musa s pilgrimage had to cross the desert to get to Egypt. It took about 60 days to cross the desert and could only be done in certain seasons. Before the use of camels, the Sahara Desert was impossible to cross. Mansa Musa s caravan is said to have included 60 to 100 camels to aid in crossing the desert. Place: Cairo Significance: Major city along the Nile River in Egypt. The caravan stopped in Cairo while Mansa Musa met with the Sultan of Egypt. Musa is said to have spent and given away so much gold while he was in Cairo that he caused the decline of its value. Place: Mecca Significance: The holy city of Islam which was the destination of Mansa Musa s pilgrimage (hajj). One of the Five Pillars of Islam is the completion of a pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca. Place: Niger River Significance: The caravan began its journey in the capital city of Niani on a tributary of the Niger River. Place: Nile River Significance: Major river in Egypt flowing from the south to the north. The Nile was difficult to travel because of its cataracts. 9

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