The Crusades & the Muslim World Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson will help your students describe the Muslim response to the Crusades. Students will watch a video lesson, participate in role-playing activity, and prove their knowledge with a short quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe the motivating factors behind the Crusades
  • Summarize the Muslim response to the Crusades
  • Analyze the impact Saladin had on Middle Eastern history
  • Explain the consequences of the Third Crusade


This lesson will take 45-90 minutes. The optional extension activity can take up to an additional 60 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.


Ask students to list everything they know about Jerusalem. Lead them to a discussion about why Jewish, Christian, and Muslim people would be interested in Jerusalem.

Watch the video lesson The Islamic World's Response to the Latin Crusades as a class. Pause at 2:11.

Five-minute quick write: Have students write down everything they learned in the video about why the Crusaders went to the Middle East and what the Muslims and Christians thought of each other.

Have students turn and talk to a partner about the things he/she wrote. Students may add to their notes if necessary.

Have pairs share their discussions with the class. Compare what the students wrote down about Jerusalem to the information they discovered in the video.

Continue watching the video. Pause at 3:25.

Discuss why the Crusaders were so easily able to take Jerusalem. Visually show students the Muslim problem using manipulatives or a sketch. For example:

  • 15 Crusaders are represented by 15 X's.
  • 15 Muslims are represented by five circles (Seljuks), five triangles (Fatimids), and five squares (Assassins) that are fighting each other.

Watch the remainder of the video.

Discussion Questions and Assessment

  • How did Saladin's Ayyubid dynasty impact the history of the Middle East?
  • Describe the Third Crusade and its long-term effects on the region.

Use the lesson's printable worksheet to check for understanding.

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