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You are HERE >>  History : Ancient Civilizations : Explorers : Grade 5
Target Audience : Students ages 9  and up

Let's Study Explorers- Marco Polo Part 1
by Belinda Mooney
October 2, 2000

If you are just joining us and what to know the basics of what we are doing then check out Let's Study Explorers

Kublai Khan liked them and befriended them. He sent them back to Venice as his ambassadors to the Pope. He sent a request for 100 wise men to teach his people about Christianity. They were given gold tablets to prove they were on the Khan's business so they would have safe passage. Kind of like the first passports! It took them three years to get home. The Pope had died and it was 2 years before another one was elected. 

Marco was 15 years old when his father returned and 17 years old when the set out on their return trip to the East. The new Pope sent along two Friars who later returned to Venice. Marco Polo went with his uncle and father on their grand adventure.

Here are some activities you can do with your children to add to this wonderful study.

Add Marco, Nicolo, and Maffeo to your timeline. We make timeline figures by using this paper-doll pattern . I reduce the size until about 4 –6 of them fit on 1 page.

Start an Explorer Research sheet on them. This is a worksheet I have designed for my children that covers basic information on each explorer. What country they are from, birthday, year died, what they explored, etc. Include a picture if possible.

Mark Venice, Italy on your map. I use both a world map and country maps. 

Venice is a city of waterways. They use these like we use streets.Make a drawing of a Venice city with a gondola.

Make a book or start a notebook page on the different ships we will see. Add the Gondola to your book.

Mark Constantinople on your map (now Istanbul).

Make a set of gold tablets to wear. Cut two rectangular shapes from cardboard and paint them yellow or gold. Write a message on them to assure you safe passage as you travel.

Make a passport . Stamp it as you travel through the various countries. Add Italy. I like to try and find stickers or stamps that somehow relate to the country we are doing.

Pretend you are young Marco Polo and have just been told you get to go with you uncle and father. Write a letter to a friend telling what you think.

Bow on to Marco Polo Pt. 2

Here are some worksheets for you also:
Marco Polo Worksheet 1
Marco Polo Worksheet 2

Links for info on Marco Polo

Submitted by:  © Belinda Mooney  "Belinda Mooney is a homeschool mom of 7 children in their 14th year of homeschooling. She enjoys writing unit studies, reading, crafts, cooking and working on her websites. Belinda has written articles for The Toybox and Joyfull Noise magazines. She has been asked to contribute history content to Learning and Teaching Scotland for high schools in Scotland. Belinda is the content manager for,, and (coming soon). She is also the Thrifty tip guru at  If you would like to know whenever Belinda updates any of her web sites just subscribe to her newsletter -The Family Forum Jot a note to Belinda Mooney
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