Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 2: "Colonial California"
This unit centers around events that brought economic and social change to California in the early 1800s. Your child will examine the growth of a land-owning class following the Mexican War for Independence. He or she will learn about the ranchos and pueblos on which workers lived and worked, and recognize the lasting influence of these workers on California today. Your child will also discover some economic concepts, including the system of barter that was the basis of Mexican California trade.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 3 Spanish Explorers and Settlers
- Discuss the explorations of Cortés, Cabrillo, and Drake. Encourage your child to read a book about one or more of these explorers. Talk about the experiences they had, the routes they traveled, the dangers they faced. Help your child think about traveling to little-known regions.
- Visit a place in your community or region that shows the Mexican or Native American culture (such as a Spanish mission, Native American reservation, or a museum). Talk about the influences of these cultures on the United States and encourage your child to see the benefits of living a society made up of many different cultures.
Chapter 4 Mexican California
- Play a game of "What Would You Trade?" with your child. Divide certain choices and responsibilities between you. For example, you might choose responsibility for certain chores, the choice of the menu of a special meal, control of the television for a set period of time, or the choice of a special event. Then trade these items, discussing at the end of each trade the fairness of the transaction.
- Discuss work and play on California's ranchos and pueblos with your child. Ask for an example of each. What might someone of your child's age be doing in each place? Have your child compare daily live in each place.
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