Education Guide

Download Journey to Mecca Educator's Guide

Journey to Mecca is an exploration of the history, geography, and culture of 14th century North Africa and the Middle East. The film is based on the real-life experiences of Ibn Batutta, one of the greatest travellers of all time. The story of his first Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca, offers the modern eye a glimpse into a vital part of history.

Scholar Endorsements:

"The guide is pedagogically very sound, the content is historically accurate, the layout of the material is professional and striking, and the various activities and resources provided for teachers and students reflect the very best practices in world history theory and pedagogy. I was particularly impressed with the way in which the guide situates Ibn Battuta’s journey to Mecca in the broader context of the Dar al-Islam and the significance of trans-Afroeurasian cultural exchanges during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. As someone with a vital interest in global exchanges during the pre-modern era, it was refreshing to find educational material that is able to strike such a fine balance between the particular regional relevance of Ibn Battuta’s journey, and the hemispheric trans-regional context in which it occurred."

Dr. Craig Benjamin
Department of History
Grand Valley State University

Teacher Preview Comments on the guide and the film from Detroit, The Henry Ford Museum. :

  • Well Organized from background info to student evaluation activities (guide)
  • It was outstanding. I feel like I have now taken the Hajj as a Christian woman. (film and guide)
  • Thank you so much to all that contributed to make this excellent educational tool available. It was an enlightening experience even though I have no background in Arabic & Islamic culture I still learned a great deal. (guide and movie)

"I had the pleasure recently at The Ontario Science Centre to view the amazing IMAX film Journey to Mecca: In the footsteps of Ibn Battuta and review the excellent Educator's Guide that has been prepared for teachers. The film is a wonderful mix of great entertainment and education that takes the viewer to places they have never seen. It is a unique film on many levels as it meets so many curriculum standards, from history and world religion, to science and geography, and also has a very important and timely message about the need for mutual understanding and respect between cultures. I highly recommend this film to teachers for their classrooms."

Jane Allin,
Vice Principal, Ontario

Additional Links

Download Journey to Mecca Educator's Background Information

Interactive Map - Follow the path of Ibn Batutta's trek and view photos from the film in a geographical context.

Ibn Batutta: Wikepedia Entry

What did Ibn Batutta's World look like? Muhammad al-Idrisi, the famous Arab cartographer, drew this chart in 1154, which remained the most accurate map of the known world for over three centuries.