Dear Year 8 students,
I hope you still remember me after my long absence on sick leave! After my emergency operation, I needed quite a long time to get back to normal. Fortunately, my organs appear to be functioning properly now. More or less! Here’s hoping they stay that way.
I hope that you have all been happy at school and have managed all the demands on your time.
The mini-unit below is about the Mongols and their attacks on Japan in the 13th century. I understand that you have already learned quite a lot about medieval Japan and these Mongol attacks with Ms Giesbrecht. Like other medieval events that we have encountered, such as the Norman Conquest and the Black Death, these two failed invasions illustrate the beliefs and mentality of the would-be conquerors and the desperate defenders.
Below, you will find some extra activities, quizzes and websites about this remarkable story, followed by a Kahoot.
Kind regards from Ms Green
The Mongols conquered a vast empire in far less time than the Romans had required to conquer a smaller one. As a fighting force, the Mongols were efficient, ruthless, systematic and terrifying. When the leaders of a city realised that they were in line for a Mongol attack, they often surrendered meekly and began to pay tribute. This was a sensible idea, for the Mongols were tolerant towards their subjects but merciless towards their foes.
Below you will find some useful resources to help you discover what happened when the seemingly invincible Mongols attacked Japan in the thirteenth century. As the picture above suggests, it is always complicated to attack an island, especially one surrounded by potentially stormy seas.
Handouts and Activities
Extension Task: Write a paragraph titled “The Story So Far” in which you use these key words and new vocabulary: Kublai Khan, Japanese sovereign/emperor, tribute, Mongols, Samurai, empire, code of honour, typhoon, brutal, armada.
Corresponding Task: Watch the video (Why were the Mongols so effective?) under “Recommended Videos” below and answer questions ⓐ, ⓑ and ⓒ that are listed there.
Online Quizzes and Activities
- VideoQuiz (Edupuzzle): Crash Course History – The Mongols, Part 1
- VideoQuiz (Edupuzzle): Crash Course History – The Mongols, Part 2
(Simple multiple choice questions to help you focus on the main wording and details in the videos)
- Playbuzz Quiz: Read through the Presentation and Answer the Integrated Questions
- Kahoot: The Mongols Attack Japan Play with the Class | Preview Alone
(The three handouts above are based loosely on this much longer article, along with other sources.)
- Encyclopedia Britannica: Map of the Empire Under Kublai Khan
- Encyclopedia Britannica: The Military Tactics of the Mongols
- Article from History on the Net: What Made the Mongol Army So Successful?
- Article: Ten Times that Weather Changed the Course of History
- Article from National Geographic: Japan’s Kamikaze Winds, the Stuff of Legend, May Have Been Real
- Article: The Mongol Invasions of Japan and the Origin of the Word “kamikaze”
- Article: The Life of Kublai Khan
- Crash Course History: Wait for It! … The Mongols!
- Khan Academy: Why were the Mongols so effective?
ⓐ As you watch the video, write down key words. I shall do the same on the board. We shall have a quick quiz afterwards on the meaning of some words.
ⓑ The presenter lists 3 reasons why the Mongols were such successful conquerors. Write these down too. He repeats the reasons, so don’t panic if you miss them on the first run-through.
1♦ 2♦ 3♦
ⓒ Discussion question: Which three words would you use to sum up the Mongols and their style of conquest? (You can borrow words from the handout and the video.)