Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Mansa Musa Lesson Plan

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Mansa Musa, and supports the standard of analyzing the roles of interregional travelers in the exchange of goods and ideas. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.


Display this image from the movie (timestamp: 1:53):

Tell students this map shows trade routes in the Middle Ages. Ask:

  • Why do you think trade might have been important?
  • What do you think might be exchanged through interregional travel? 
  • What long-lasting impacts do you think trade might have? 


  • Read the description on the Mansa Musa topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Assign Related Reading. Have students read one of the following articles: “Famous Faces,” “In Depth,” or “Way Back When.” Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: APPLY and ASSESS 

Assign Mansa Musa Challenge and Quiz, prompting students to apply essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.


Students express what they learned about Mansa Musa while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Imagine you are traveling with Mansa Musa. Produce a travelog documenting your journey, including where you go, who you meet, and some effects of your trip. 
  • Make-a-Map: Create a concept map tracing the development of Mali before, during, and after Mansa Musa’s pilgrimage to Mecca.  
  • Creative Coding: Code a meme representing Mali in the 13th century.

More to Explore

Related BrainPOP Topics: Deepen understanding of the impact of interregional trade and travel with these topics: Silk Road and Trans-Saharan Trade

Teacher Support Resources:



Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments