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Cross Curricular

GOLDEN AGE OF MUSLIM CIVILIZATION AND THE CAMERA OBSCURA

In the world of the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization explore the Muslim scientist Alahzen's discoveries in optics with the camera obscura.

grade level:
6-12
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GameDesk
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ANCIENT INVENTIONS overview

The Ancient Inventions curriculum explores the creation and spread of eight inventions across eight ancient cultures. Each invention/culture is a module composed of five lessons.

The inventions and corresponding cultures are:

  1. The wheeled vehicle in Ancient Mesopotamia (1700 BCE)
  2. The shaduf in Ancient Egypt (1470 BCE)
  3. The crane in Ancient Greece (465 BCE)
  4. Paper in Ancient China (105 CE)
  5. The arch in Ancient Rome (117 CE)
  6. The game Chaturanga in Ancient India (450 CE)
  7. The windmill in the Early Muslim Civilization (705 CE)
  8. The camera obscura in the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization (1000 CE)

The Ancient Inventions curriculum is designed to be an interdisciplinary STEAM experience. Within one module students are engaging in the disciplines of history, science, engineering, math, and English language arts. Using the Ancient Invention Kit materials, students learn about the ancient world, its key figures and histories, the engineering process, the physics and science behind the invention, math concepts behind the invention, different social roles, geography, and the importance of the invention for that civilization. The backbone of the experience has students engaging in the engineering design process. This is done by presenting students with a problem that a given culture faced. In order to solve that problem, they must build an invention. Students use common materials to fabricate simplified but functional versions of renowned inventions from these historical periods.

In each module, students:

  1. Immerse themselves in the historical culture through role­playing characters of the past
  2. Build a working model of an invention, and test and improve it
  3. Learn the scientific and mathematical principles behind the invention
  4. Exercise their knowledge of both the civilization and the invention through a board game
  5. Learn about the Engineering Method
  6. Apply engineering principles to a new, personal context
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Experience breakdown

Module Overview

In the Golden Age of Islam module, students learn about civilization in the Abbasid Caliphate. They are introduced to simple optics. They learn about rays, reflection, and lenses. They also learn about the Muslim scientist Alhazen who made these discoveries through scientific experimentation and his camera obscura. They use their knowledge of the human eye and the concept of refraction to build and improve a camera obscura. Students learn that trade, education, and scientific experimentation in the Muslim world led to innumerable technological and mathematical advancements.

Goals

• Identify the effects of the merchant trade across the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and throughout Asia on the Silk Route.
• Apply and understand the Engineering Method.
• Understand the importance of the camera obscura invention.
• Build a model camera obscura.
• Understand how light travels and how the human eye works.
• Give examples about daily life in the Golden Age of Islam by taking on the character of a person in that society.

Lesson Steps

Lesson 1: Who Are the Muslims? (1-2 hours)

The class is broken into six different social groups from the culture. Each student will receive the role of a different character.

Lesson 2: What Did They Invent? (2-3 hours)
Students are introduced to an invention that is associated with the Muslim world. In their character groups, proceed through the engineering process and build a physical model of that invention.

Lesson 3: How Did They Do It? (1-2 hours)
Students learn the mechanics of the invention, covering physics, mathematics, and engineering principles. Students make observations and measurements about their models. They use this data to improve the performance of their invention.

Lesson 4: Civilization Game (1-6 hours)
Students synthesize information about the Muslim culture (1000CE) through a game. Students answer questions, perform challenges, provide other groups with knowledge, and judge the quality of each other’s responses. Progress (and knowledge) is tracked through a game board, which offers the additional possibility of strategic play.

Lesson 5: Processing and Application (1 hour)
Students reflect on their experiences during the module. They apply their engineering and historical knowledge to solve a new problem.
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Student made camera obscura

Documents

GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_ASSET_LIST.pdf | 78Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_LESSON_PLANS.pdf | 1691Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIIM_STUDENT_JOURNAL.pdf | 3318Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_CIV_GAME_INSTRUCTIONS.pdf | 51Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_GAME_BOARD.pdf | 30833Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_KNOWLEDGE_SCROLLS.pdf | 3325Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_CHARACTER_CARDS.pdf | 9379Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_CHALLENGE-ANSWER_CARDS.pdf | 14064Kb
GOLDEN_AGE_MUSLIM_BUFF_CARDS.pdf | 15299Kb
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