Find out about the fascinating rise and fall of the city of Baghdad around CE 900. Explore Islamic art, patterns and motifs and their relationship to maths. Turn your classroom into a House of Wisdom.

Session 1 Baghdad: The round city

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods they study.
  • Select and organise relevant historical information.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Teaching and Activities

Use a ‘Round Robin’ research task to build awareness of ancient Baghdad.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To research and present relevant historical information from a range of sources about Baghdad.
  • To understand where the current themes studied fit chronologically.

Children will:

  • Analyse pictures and ask questions about Baghdad (c. CE 900).
  • Conduct ‘jigsaw’ research on four themes by answering key questions to bring together knowledge about: the importance of Baghdad’s geographical location, the design of the city, the House of Wisdom, the routines of daily life including the bazaar, schools and prayer.

You Will Need

  • sticky-notes
  • Laptops/ iPads for internet access

Session 2 Interior designers

Objectives

Art

  • Understand the historical and cultural development of art forms.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing.

Teaching and Activities

Build a resource bank of features of Islamic Art.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • Build a resource bank of features of Islamic Art.

Children will:

  • Enjoy a range of Islamic art, pattern and motifs.
  • Establish a list of common/ important features of early Islamic art and architecture.
  • Make annotated sketches.

You Will Need

  • Internet access via laptops/ iPads
  • Sketchbooks and drawing materials

Session 3 Art or maths?

Objectives

Art

  • Understand the historical and cultural development of art forms.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques.

Design and Technology

  • Generate, develop, model and communicate ideas through… pattern pieces and computer-aided design.

Teaching and Activities

Explore and create tessellating patterns, link to Islamic designs and meanings.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore and recreate Islamic art in the classroom.
  • To use appropriate graphics tools to create, capture and manipulate images.

Children will:

  • Explore tessellation using an online ‘interactivity’.
  • Explore and describe mathematical patterns.
  • Print and annotate diagrams.

You Will Need

  • Computer/iPad/internet access

Session 4 Our House of Learning

Objectives

Art

  • Understand the historical and cultural development of art forms.
  • Improve mastery of art and design techniques, including drawing and painting with a range of materials.

Design and Technology

  • Generate, develop, model and communicate ideas through… pattern pieces and computer-aided design.

Teaching and Activities

Translate knowledge of tessellating patterns to computing applications.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To explore and recreate Islamic art in the classroom.
  • To use appropriate graphics tools to create, capture and manipulate images.

Children will:

  • Explore further tools for creating precise geometric patterns, emulating Islamic art and design, before sketching and creating their own hangings and decorations for the classroom, creating their own House of Learning - in which to be scholars for the rest of the topic...

You Will Need

  • Internet access via laptops/ iPads
  • Paints, brushes of varying thicknesses, rolls or large sheets of paper

Session 5 War comes to Baghdad

Objectives

History

  • Develop a chronologically secure knowledge and understanding of world history, establishing clear narratives within and across the periods studied.
  • Address and devise historically valid questions about change, cause, similarity, difference and significance.

Teaching and Activities

Learning about the Mongol Invaders and linking it to modern day. 

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To investigate the fall of Baghdad as the centre of the Islamic civilisation.

Children will:

● Read ‘Silent Music: A story of Baghdad’, recognising that war remains a threat to people in modern times

● Hear about Yaqut al-Musta'simi, calligrapher who survived the Mongol attack on Baghdad

● Research weapons and tactics used by the Mongol invaders; discuss why Baghdad fell so easily

● Create a magazine front cover, breaking the news about the fall of Baghdad

You Will Need

  • Silent Music: A story of Baghdad by James Rumford