Ibn Battuta: The One-Person Play

Contributor: Brian Anthony. Lesson ID: 11329

"With age comes wisdom." With age come stories of times past, with lessons to learn for today! Create a one-person play about Ibn Battuta visiting today's world. Step into this world traveler's shoes!



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

Lesson Plan - Get It!


One of the many important functions of aged people is to tell stories.

They are looking back over a rich lifetime of many experiences — some good, some not so good — many containing valuable lessons.

Write down your recollection of someone who has played that role in your life, a storyteller who related experiences full of lessons. Reflect on the following questions and discuss with a parent or teacher:

  • What stories do you remember from that person?
  • What ideas, values, and information did those stories communicate?
  • What role does storytelling play in human societies?

Ibn Battuta was a master storyteller.

In fact, most scholars believe he did not write the book, The Rihla, that is attributed to him. In all likelihood, he narrated his stories and recollections to a writer who put them to paper.

If you missed or need to review the previous lessons in our The Journey of Ibn Battuta series, find them in the right-hand sidebar under Related Lessons.

Your task in this lesson is to bring Ibn Battuta (the man) to life by creating a one-person play. One-person plays are a light but powerful way of presenting a character. They often focus on just one character and his or her experiences, so are ideal for highlighting this great figure from history!

First, let's take a look at an example of a one-person play. This is about the famous and beloved 19th-century American writer, Mark Twain, author of Huckleberry Finn and other favorites. Watch the video, Citizen Twain starring Val Kilmer, at the Ryman Auditorium:


Now, reflect on the following questions and write:

  • What was the purpose of the story Twain told in this short excerpt?
  • What information or ideas do you get from the monologue about Twain's personal character?
  • What kind of story would Ibn Battuta tell if he were the subject of a one-person play like this?

In the Got It? section, you will revisit The Rihla at least one more time to collect information about Ibn Battuta — the historical figure and the character — to prepare for your theatrical debut!

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