Lesson Plans: Grades 6-8

Lesson 8: Trekking to Timbuktu: Assessment of Lessons 1–7 (Student Version)

Created November 19, 2010


The Lesson


Timbuktu French Map

1743 French Map of Northwest Africa, depicting the areas covered in this curriculum unit.

Credit: Courtesy of American Memory at the Library of Congress.

Using several pieces of poster board taped together, make an illustrated timeline of the history of Timbuktu. For the illustrations, use graphics downloaded from websites visited during this unit or draw pictures freehand. As a guide for important dates, consult Timeline.

Your Final Presentation:

Well, you've gone “all the way to Timbuktu.” And you've made it home alive!

You've certainly discovered many of the mysteries, intrigues, and realities of life in that remote part of the world—and you're now armed with plenty of good reasons why someone might want to visit there.

Lesson Activities

Activity 1. Assessment of Lessons 1–7

Now it's time to convince the producers of Globe Trekkers to film an episode there.

Hope you've saved all the notes and pictures you've taken as well as the essays you wrote on your adventure. Your final task is to create a large poster exhibit in which you highlight—through image and written word—the most interesting aspects of each topic you've investigated—i.e., geography, trade, early years of Timbuktu, Mansa Musa's pilgrimage and mosque-building, the Golden Age of scholarship, the search for the lost city of Timbuktu, and efforts currently being made to restore the past.Use colorful language and any strategy you can think of to grab the attention of the viewer. Remember, you're selling your idea! Once you've completed the visual part of your presentation, start practicing your speech.

When you're all set, make your presentation to your classmates, who will dutifully carry out the role of the Globe Trekker producers. Good luck!

Extending The Lesson

Not ready to go home? Tell your producer you have some more hot tips to explore.

  • The fame of Sundiata, a ruler of the ancient empire of Mali, is documented in the epic poem “Sundjata.” Read this story (available in libraries and online) and learn about his rise to power. For background information, go to Epic Poetry and Sundiata.
  • Ibn Battuta's trip—Not long after the death of Mansa Musa, a famous traveler—Ibn Battuta—arrived in Mali and wrote about Timbuktu. Learn more about this man and his descriptions of trip by visiting the following websites: Battuta's Trip Twelve, Ibn Battuta and Ibn Batuta: Travels in Asia and Africa
  • Watch a video in which an Islamic scholar of Timbuktu is interviewed. Go to Retelling the Story and click on the videos about Sankore and the ancient manuscripts.
  • Take a visit to modern Timbuktu by accessing Travel (to Timbuktu)

The Basics

Time Required

2 class periods

Subject Areas
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Africa
  • Art and Culture > Subject Matter > Anthropology
  • Art and Culture > Medium > Architecture
  • History and Social Studies
  • Literature and Language Arts > Place > Ancient World
  • History and Social Studies > World > The Ancient World (3500 BCE-500 CE)
  • Art and Culture > Medium > Visual Arts
  • History and Social Studies > Place > Asia
  • Art and Culture
  • Analysis
  • Critical thinking
  • Gathering, classifying and interpreting written, oral and visual information
  • Historical analysis
  • Map Skills
  • Visual analysis
  • Suzanne Art (AL)