Marco Polo & the Mongol Empire

Grades: 5-7 | Duration: 90 minutes

Witness Genghis Khan conquer the largest continuous empire the world has ever known. Learn the reasons behind the spread of the Mongol Empire and how it enabled Marco Polo to embark on his incredible journeys. Learn about the nomadic Mongolian lifestyle, the founding of the Yuan Dynasty, and the impact of Marco Polo’s travels on future exploration. Students also review Asian geography by tracing the travels of the Polo family and map the Mongol Empire.

Common Core State Standards

English Language Arts Standards

Speaking & Listening

▪ 1c – Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.

▪ 1c – Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others’ questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.

Reading: Informational Text

▪ 7 – Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.


▪ 3e – Provide a conclusion that follows from the narrated experiences or events.

California State Board of Education

History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools

▪ 3 – Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious, and social structures of the civilizations of China in the Middle Ages.

▪ 3.3 – Analyze the influences of Confucianism and changes in the Confucian thought during the Sung and Mongol periods.

▪ 3.4 – Understand the importance of both overland trade and maritime expeditions between China and other civilizations in the Mongol Ascendancy and Ming Dynasty.