Marco Polo

Week 15: Marco Polo (1271)

View K – 6: Marco Polo Animated Hero Classics by Nest Entertainment

7 – 8: The Adventures of Marco Polo by Russell Freedman


  • What country did Marco Polo travel to? (China)
  • What city and country was he born in? (Venice, Italy)
  • What great leader did Marco work for in China? (Kublai Khan)
  • Who did he travel with? (his father & uncle)
  • How old was he when he left Venice? (17)
  • What was his profession (job) in Italy? (merchant)
  • According to Marco, why was traveling through the desert so terrifying? (traveled more than a day without water, nothing to eat, easy to get lost, people hear “ghostly voices” from wind blowing across the dunes)
  • At one point in his travels, Marco became very sick. How was he healed? (carried up into the mountains – the pure air made him feel healthy again)
  • Describe the Khan’s palace. Was he a “rude barbarian” as the Europeans believed? (No, lived in riches & splendor. He also tried to be generous to those around him.)
  • What did the Khan have for entertainment? (acrobats, musicians, actors, jugglers)
  • What did the Khan use to help him hunt? (falcons, eagles, tigers, leopards, lynxes, & archers)
  • How did the Khan act towards the poor? (provided them with food, clothing, & free education)
  • What type of work did Marco do for the Khan? (envoy to different parts of the Khan’s empire)
  • What were the “giant snakes that walked on squat legs with jaws big enough to swallow a man” that Marco saw? (crocodiles)
  • Who wrote down Marco’s story travels? (fellow prisoner and writer, Rustichello)
  • What was his book called? (The Description of the World or The Travels of Marco Polo)
  • T/F The book became very popular. (T)
  • T/F Everyone believed his story. (F – many people thought he was lying)
  • How many years was he in China? (17)
    Questions for Grades 7 & 8:
  • What was the last mission the Polos did for the Khan? (escorted princess to her new husband.)
  • The Khan originally sent a message to the Pope requesting that he send Christians monks (friars) with the Polos to teach him about Christianity. Why didn’t the Polos fulfill the Khan’s request? (at first only two friars were willing to go; then the monks were frightened by bandits and turned back)
  • What great explorer did Marco inspire with his travels? (Christopher Columbus)
  • What type of money was used in the Khan’s empire? (paper)
  • Describe their postal system? (riders prepared at numerous stations to ride on horseback to deliver messages)
  • How often did the Chinese bathe? (at least 3 times a week – sometimes every day)
  • What were the “black stones that burned” the Chinese used to heat their homes? (coal)
  • How did people use the “fountain of gushing oil from the ground” that Marco saw near the Caspian Sea? (good for burning)
  • What gift did the Polos bring the Khan from the Pope? (Holy Oil)

Activities: K – 2: Fold a white piece of paper in half; then fold it again. Open it up and in each of the four squares draw a picture of something Marco Polo saw during his travels.
3 – 6: Marco Polo Word Placement worksheet: Marco Polo worksheet
7 – 8: Kublai Khan wanted to hear more about Christianity, but the two friars who accompanied Marco, his father, and his uncle became frightened and decided to return home. Do you believe they were following God’s calling or their own? Write your answer in paragraph form.
Then, write an essay discussing many of the things Marco Polo saw that were hard for Europeans to believe at the time.

Copyright September 25th, 2014 by Gwen Fredette


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Filed under Charlotte Mason, Dark & Middle Ages

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