What Went Wrong Webquest
The Rise and Decline of Islamic Civilization



Teacher's Page



I. Researching
II. Designing
Designing a brochure


Step One: Overview of the Islamic faith

Free exploration

Before you start step 1, spend 10-15 minutes reading through different pages of this webquest --except the teacher page:) -- Read the excerpts from Fiorina's speech on the homepage.

Ready! Let’s get started

In order to get a clear understanding of Islamic civilization, you need to gain some basic information about the religion of Islam. Use the resources about understanding Islam and Muslims and the five pillars of Islam to answer the following questions.

• What is Islam?
• Who are the Muslims?
• What do Muslims believe?
• What does 'Islam' mean?
• Who is Muhammad?
• What is the Quran?
• What is the Quran about?
• What are the 'Five Pillars' of Islam?

Resources for step one >>


Step Two: History of the Islamic world

Now that you learned some information about the religion of Islam, it is time to learn about Islamic history. The resources provided for this step will give you an overview of the whole Islamic history. You will search different sites and look to different maps individually then you will get together with your group to discuss your findings. While searching, do not forget to check the website: muslimheritage.com. The following questions will help you focus on the main points:

• When and under what circumstances was the prophet Muhammad born?
• Why did the prophet Muhammad migrate to Madina?
• Describe the land of Islam when the prophet Muhammad dies.
• How and why did Islam spread so rapidly?
• List 3 to 5 historical events and turning points in the Islamic history.
• When did Muslims enter Spain? How many centuries did they stay there?
• When the Golden Age of Islam begin? Describe it. 
• List 4 important cities in the Islamic world and explain why they are important?
• What factors contributed to the rise of Islamic civilization?

Resources for step two >>


Step Three: Islamic civilization & science

The following questions have been provided to help you focus on the main points:

  • List at least one important contribution of Islamic civilization in each one of the following fields: chemistry, mathematics, medicine, architecture, literature, art and astronomy.
  • Name 4 Muslims scientists and talk about their contributions.
  • List 5 Arabic words that entered the Western vocabulary.
  • Discuss how Islamic civilization influence scientific revolution in the modern world?

    Divide the work among your group members. Search the internet individually then get together report and discuss your findings.

Resources for step three>>


Step Four: Islamic art and architecture

Visit the resources provided or search the Internet on your own and save/print 5 photos that relate to Islamic civilization (photos of mosques, great buildings, architecture, art, maps, calligraphy…etc. ) Remember that you need to cite your source and write a brief description for each photo. You will choose 2 or 3 of these photos to include in your brochure.

Resources for step four>>

Step Five: so what went wrong?

Now that you learned the basics of the religion of Islam, recognized the history of Islamic culture, aware of Islamic contribution to science and medicine, it is time now to investigate the major factors that led to decline of Islamic civilization. Visit the following web sites individually, write notes, then get together with your team and discuss your findings.

Focus on the following main points:

  • When the decline of the Islamic civilization start?
  • List some factors that led to the decline?
  • Were they internal or external factors?

Resources for step five>>


Congratulation !! You have finished the five steps of this webquest.

After this trip in Islamic religion, history and civilization, it is time now to design your own brochure. Get together with your group members. Use the information you have gathered and the photos you saved or printed to design your brochure. The brochure should be on a piece of heavyweight paper (8.5*11 inches.) You may use any available software (such as Microsoft publisher) to design your brochure.

  • Some guidelines for designing your brochure:
    • The page should be folded into two or three sections.
    • The front of the brochure should have a title that is creative and reflects the focus of your Findings and discussions.
    • Include 2 or 3 Islamic photos (art, architecture, map, calligraphy…etc. ) If you have a disagreement, you may vote for the best photo to include.
    • Include a paragraph/list summarizing your team’s findings of step 1.
    • Include a paragraph/list summarizing your team’s findings of step 2.
    • Include a list of some Muslim scientists and their contribution (step 3)
    • Include a paragraph (or two) summarizing your team’s discussion and analysis of step 5.
    You may draw a timeline to show the order of some historical events.
  • Be creative! Make the brochure visually appealing. Use interesting fonts and photos.
    • Be sure to list your resources.

To see how your brochure will be evaluated, go to the evaluation page.