Hagia Sophia Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde
Use this lesson plan to teach your students about the Hagia Sophia. Students will read a text lesson describing the history of the church and its architecture, discuss and interact with content, and take a quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • explain the history of the Hagia Sophia
  • describe characteristics of the Hagia Sophia


1 hour for lesson plus time for research and presentations.


Key Vocabulary

  • Hagia Sophia
  • Emperor Justinian
  • Isidore of Miletus
  • Anthemius of Tralles
  • Great Schism
  • Fourth Crusade
  • Mehmet II
  • Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
  • Dome
  • Minarets

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.3

Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.6

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.7

Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.

Warm Up

  • Display images of the Hagia Sophia and ask students to talk to a partner to describe what they see. Specifically, have them share their ideas of the architecture, function, and uses of the building.
  • When finished, have students share as a whole class, giving reasons for their ideas such as 'I think the building was/is used as a place of worship because it has columns like my own church.'
  • Ask students if they can tell where the building may be located, and share the map to build background knowledge.
  • Preview vocabulary and help students with pronunciation and definitions.

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