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Supplements for Teachers: I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade

--Curriculum Connection

13th century Mongolia, Kublai Khan, Mongolian nomadic culture, Chinese empire (Yuan Dynasty), Marco Polo

--Discussion Questions

Are you superstitious? Do you use any personal rituals to bring you good luck?

How would you disguise yourself if you had to pretend to be someone else?

Describe a time when you worked (or played) really hard, perhaps went without eating, and physically exhausted yourself. How did you feel? Was it worth the effort?

How important is it to you that your parent(s) be proud of you? How is that pride in you shown?

Have you ever had to stand up to an authority figure? (A principal, group leader, teacher, adviser.) Describe what happened.

--Hands-On Projects

Make a paiza (a small tablet ensuring safe passage for a traveler).

Try some goat's milk or buffalo cheese.

Draw a portrait of Kublai Khan.

[Note: the Fiesta!: Mongolia book below has more ideas.]

--Engaging References

"Chagi's Charge" Natural History (6/98) This beautifully photographed article in a magazine published by the American Museum of Natural History features six-year-old Chagi preparing to compete in the annual festival horse race in modern-day Mongolia.

The Way People Live: Life in Genghis Khan's Mongolia (Robert Taylor) Although this book details life under Genghis Khan rather than his grandson, Kublai Khan, it is full of good details.

Fiesta!: Mongolia (Grolier, publisher) This visually splashy book includes lots of craft projects, vocabulary, and information about modern day Mongolia.
This on-line magazine has many interesting articles about past and present Mongolia.