Mapping the Journey of Ibn Battuta

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11327

You may have heard of "Where's Waldo?" but have you ever asked, "Where's Ibn Battuta?" He traveled all over the world and wrote about his journeys. You will make a game based on his book, the Rihla!



learning style
personality style
Otter, Golden Retriever
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Dig Deeper

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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If you had the money and the time — and a valid passport, of course — you could put together a global travel itinerary in just a couple hours.

By tomorrow, you could be jetting off to distant lands, taking in exotic sights, and meeting interesting people.

Ibn Battuta, the legendary Arab traveler of the 14th century, could not order airplane tickets with a few easy clicks. He took a perilous, decades-long trek around the known world of his time. Put yourself back in his time. If you set out on a journey back in the 1300s:

  • Where would you go?
  • How would you get there?
  • What challenges do you think you would face?

Travel writing is one of the oldest genres of literature.

The historian Herodotus still gives us some of the most vivid glimpses of the ancient world through his travel writings. Marco Polo may be one of the most famous travel writers, owing to his epic accounts of journeys to the East.

You have probably never heard of Ibn Battuta, yet he is one of the most fascinating travel writers in all of history. His full name was Abu Abdullah Muhammed ibn Abdullah Al-Lawati Al-Tanji ibn Battuta. Whew! We will stick with Ibn Battuta.

Born in Morocco in the early 1300s, he spent several decades of his life traveling across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Let's learn a bit more about this interesting character. As you read, look for information and ideas to answer the following questions:

  • What motivated Ibn Battuta's travels?
  • What was the farthest place he visited?
  • What happened to his story after he died?

Read the article, "Ibn Battuta," retrieved from

Share your findings with a parent or teacher. Then reflect on the following questions and discuss:

  • Would you consider Ibn Battuta a "tourist"? Why or why not?
  • How would you define travel writing?
  • What value is there in travel writing?

You have met one of the great travelers of history. In the Got It? section, you will dig into his actual writings to glimpse the amazing experiences he shares through his book, Rihla.

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