This 20 slide powerpoint includes detailed information about Marco Polo's life, Venice, Kublai Khan, the Gobi desert, and China. Pictures and maps are included along with student questions and directions that can be used with a smartboard or by printing out the slides and giving to students to complete during the lesson. This powerpoint was created for 5th graders at my school to build background knowledge on Marco Polo before reading a story about him. (Most kids have no clue who he is and simply think of the pool game!) Students performed much better on comprehension test after story because we built the background knowledge. This can also be used for a social studies or history class to introduce Marco Polo.