KS2: Ibn Battuta

This animated film follows Ibn Battuta’s epic journey and extraordinary exploits after his first pilgrimage to Mecca.

Through Battuta's marathon 29-year journey you can explore core learning topics with your class, such as creative writing and writing a journal, desert adaption including evolution, pilgrimage and Hajj, culture and art and early Islamic civilisation.

This short film is from the BBC series, Explorers.

Teacher Notes

This short film about Ibn Battuta can be used as a starting point for a cross-curricular project based around Ibn Battuta's life and journey, or it could be used in conjunction with one or more of the other Explorers films to compare how travel and exploration have changed over time.

This could be the starting point for learning in science around evolution and adaptation, as Ibn Battuta explains how camels are suited to life in the desert.

It is also ideal as a stimulus for learning about maps, meeting many curriculum objectives for geography:

  • Pupils could locate the countries Ibn Battuta visited, using atlases and maps of the world, and they could use their maths skills to measure and calculate the distances he traveled.
  • This would be an ideal place to make use of digital mapping software.

Pupils could have a go at writing their own 'Rihla': an account of a real or imagined journey they have taken, trying to inspire people to visit the places they describe (using persuasive and descriptive language).

This could be linked with a geographical study of a particular region or country, or a place local to the school. You could compare Inb Battuta's Rihla to modern day travel writing.

The learning in this film could be linked to an RE topic on Pilgrimage or Mecca, or wider learning on Islam.

It could also be linked to learning in history about Early Islamic civilisation.

Children could investigate Islamic art and create geometric patterns of their own, perhaps to decorate a box they have made from wood as part of the technology curriculum, or to decorate the walls of your classroom.

Learning on geometric patterns could also be linked to learning about shapes in maths. In music lessons, children could compare the musical traditions of some of the countries Ibn Battuta visited.

Curriculum Notes

This short film could be used to study a variety of cross-curricular topics at KS2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and 2nd Level in Scotland. Including;

  • Maths
  • Geography
  • English
  • History
  • Art and design
  • Science
  • Music

More from Explorers

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Christopher Columbus
Robert Falcon Scott
Amelia Earhart