Muhammad lived from 570-632 CE. A little more than a hundred years after his death, the Umayyad Caliphate stretched across the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain, becoming the largest empire ever up to that point. In this lesson, students examine a series of documents and consider the question: How did the early Islamic empire expand?
[Teacher Materials, Student Materials, and PowerPoint updated 11/05/14.]

Image credit: Photo of Dome of the Rock (completed 691 CE) taken in 2008. From the Wikimedia Commons.


I teach 7th grade and we use these lessons. We use them as complete introductions. We start with the very basic and do it together, step by step. Our goal is to be able to be independent by 9th grade.
I have a question: Are there any 7th Grade world history teachers that have used this lesson? So far I've seen comments from only 10th grade history students that have used it.
This is one of the better primary/secondary source lesson plans I've used. I like the way it asks students to create a hypothesis and then alter their hypothesis based on new information. Several real-world applications found in the process, not to mention the knowledge gained about a relevant topic for my 10th graders.
This lesson was well done, although I would suggest it follow a lesson on the Byzantine-Sassanid Wars. particularly of 602-628 CE, which set the stage and explains how the Sassanid Empire was weakened prior to the Islamic expansion.
I recently used this lesson plan with my students in 10th grade World History, and it was wonderful. I really enjoyed all the primary sources and having my students dig into history like real historians do!
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