Marco Polo Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan uses a mini-activity, a large activity, two quizzes, and discussion questions to help your students learn about Marco Polo and his travels.

Learning Objectives

Once students have completed this lesson plan, they will be able to:

  • Describe Marco Polo's early life
  • Identify the key places Marco Polo visited and what he learned/did there


60-90 minutes without the activity


Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


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


Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.


By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


Warm Up

  • Start the class with these two questions:
    • Have you ever played Marco Polo?
    • Do you know who Marco Polo actually is?


  • Pass out a handout of the following lesson's text for each student:
  • Each student should read the lesson on their own and:
    • Highlight all key terms and concepts
    • Define all bold words on their own
    • Jot down any questions they have
    • Turn in a one paragraph summary of what they just learned
  • Ask your students if they have any question(s) on the reading.
  • When every question has been answered, move on to the discussion:
    • Who was Marco Polo?
    • Where was Polo born?
    • Who was Kublai Khan?
    • How long did Marco Polo's trip last?
    • Mini-activity: pass out excerpts from The Travels of Marco Polo and read them together as a class.
  • Play the following video lesson and watch it together as a class:
  • Discuss the following after that:
    • What countries and cities did Polo visit on his travels?
    • How long did Polo stay in China for?
    • How did the Polos get back home?
    • Why/how did Polo land in prison upon his return home?
    • What is the legacy of Marco Polo and his travels?


  • Each student should take the following quizzes as an in-class activity:
    • The lesson quiz on 'Who was Marco Polo? - Biography, Facts & Timeline'.
    • The lesson quiz on 'Marco Polo's Travels & Routes'

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