By: Kathleen Krull
Kubla Khan, son of the great Genghis Khan, was a larger-than-life figure in world history. After showing his military and governing prowess early on, Kubla Khan became the Khan, the supreme leader, of all Mongols. Living a life of luxury, Khan maintained a strong but fair grip on his kingdom. Then, he sought to do what no Mongol leader had ever done before – conquer China. He did so, establishing a new empire, and eventually impressing European explorer Marco Polo so much that future explorers took to the sea to find China.
Kubla Khan lived a life we can hardly imagine. After becoming the supreme leader of a group of warriors called Mongols, Khan used his power in both good and strange ways. If you disagreed with Khan, he might have your head shaved to embarrass you. Khan used 28,000 workers to build himself a new city, and if there was a particular type of tree he liked in another part of the country, he had his workers dig it up and replant it. Khan had a throne covered with horse skins, a tame lion he kept at his feet, robotic tigers in his reception hall, and over 100 children! Read this book to discover the story of Kubla Khan!
AUTHOR’S BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH:
Other books written by the author:
A Pot o' Gold: A Treasury of Irish Stories, Poetry, Folklore, & (of course) Blarney
Harvesting Hope: The Story of César Chávez
Houdini: World's Greatest Mystery Man & Escape King
I Hear America Singing! Folksongs for American Families
Isaac Newton: Giants of Science
Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought)
Lives of the Musicians: Good Times, Bad Times (and What the Neighbors Thought)
M is for Music
Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead
The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss
The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth
What Really Happened in Roswell? Just the Facts (Plus the Rumors) About UFOs
Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World's Fastest Woman
Woman for President: The Story of Victoria Woodhull
Pg 2 Kubla Khan
Pg 2 Mongol Empire
Pg 2 Genghis Khan
Pg 2 Tibet
Pg 2 Afghanistan
Pg 2 Pakistan
Pg 2 Hungary
Pg 2 Poland
Pg 2 Vietnam
Pg 3 Mongolia
Pg 5 horde
Pg 5 khan
Pg 8 nomads
Pg 11 concubines
Pg 11 barbarian
Pg 13 Confucian Scholars
Pg 13 Buddhist monks
Pg 16 brocade
Pg 16 acupuncture
Pg 16 catapults
Pg 17 Beijing
Pg 17 phoenixes
Pg 17 ermines
Pg 19 Xanadu
Pg 21 dynasties
Pg 21 artisans
Pg 28 mulberry bark
Pg 30 Yangtze River
Pg 30 Marco Polo
Pg 31 Cathay
Pg 34 Yuan Dynasty
Pg 34 Ming Dynasty
1. The book title says Kubla Khan Emperor of Everything. Why do you think they say that?
2. Why do you think Kubla Khan ruled differently than his grandfather Genghis Kahn?
3. Why did Kubla Khan want to be emperor of China?
4. What was it that so impressed Marco Polo about the Kubla Khan and his empire?
5. If you had lived when Kubla Khan reign what would you have liked about his empire? What would you not have liked?
6. Describe the influences Kubla’s mother and wife had on him. How might is life have been different if they weren’t there.
7. Why would Khan’s sealed envelope advice method help him to get great ideas? What if he treated people with bad ideas poorly?
8. Should Khan have conquered China? Why or why not?
Language Arts: Common Core Standard
1. Create a character map of Kubla Khan. Put Khan’s name in a bubble in the middle, and then surround him with various people’s names from the book. On the lines connecting from Khan to each person, describe the relationship they had. Be ready to discuss this with the group.
5.RI.3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.
Social Studies: Indiana Social Studies Standards
2. Have students research the journeys of Marco Polo on the Silk Road then have them answer questions using this interactive map.
6.1.6 Examine the importance of trade routes and trace the rise of cultural centers and trade cities in Europe and Mesoamerica.
3. Do you think it was appropriate for Khan to conquer China? Find a partner who disagrees with you and stage a debate for your group. Give reasons and evidence for your opinions. Remember, Khan lived over 700 years ago!
6.1.20 Recognize historical perspectives in fiction and nonfiction by identifying the
historical context in which events unfolded and by avoiding evaluation of the past
solely in terms of present-day norms.
RELATED INTERNET SITES:
Ancient China for Kids
Kubla Khan - http://www.historyforkids.org/learn/china/history/mongol.htm
Kubla Khan Bio - http://www.notablebiographies.com/Ki-Lo/Kublai-Khan.html
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