Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
From Sea to Shining Sea
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 1: "Listen to the Land"
Your child will focus on some of the United States' natural landscapes: ocean coasts, rivers, prairies, forests, mountains, and deserts. He or she will understand how people use the land and water around them, both in the past and in the present. Your child will also learn how plants and animals have adjusted over time to very cold temperatures and to hot and dry climates.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 1 Mighty Waters
- Point out any large or major bodies of water near your community--rivers, lakes, or an ocean -- and talk with your child about its effect on your community. Has your area ever been flooded? Does the body of water affect temperatures at different times of the year?
Chapter 2 Rustling Leaves and Grasses
- Talk a walk with your child around your neighborhood or a park. Ask him or her to identify the trees you see as either evergreens or trees that lose their leaves in the winter. Are there any places that have both?
Chapter 3 Majestic Peaks and Deserts
- With your child, look at a physical map of the United States. (There is one in the back of the textbook.) First, have your child point out all the mountains and the deserts. Then ask him or her to point the mountain range and desert that are closest to where you live.
- Discuss with your child what happens to a plant when it gets more or less water that it needs, or becomes too hot or too cold. Does he or she know of any plants in your region that make seasonal adjustments to different weather? What are those adjustments? Encourage your child to help you care for plants around your home, or to raise their own plants.
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