Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 3: "Newcomers Change California"
In this unit your child will discover the impact of the thousands of people who moved to California between 1820 and 1850 searching for adventure and fortune. Your child will also explore the gold rush and its aftermath, study how California became a state and developed a constitution, and learn about California's struggle to achieve law and order and fair treatment for all citizens.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 5 Newcomers from the United States
- Discuss with your child what might happen if gold or some other valuable item were discovered in your neighborhood park today, and everyone had access to it. In what different ways would people in your community react? What problems might that create?
- Encourage your child to read additional books about the topics and people covered in this unit. For example, your child might read more about gold mining, the building of the state house, the Donner Party, or such people as John August Sutter, Biddy Mason, or Pablo de la Guerra.
Chapter 6 California Becomes A State
- With your child, look at California's state seal (in the textbook). Talk about the symbolism. Then work with him or her to design a family seal. What symbols would you use? After you have chosen the symbols, have your child draw the seal.
- Review with your child some city or town services you depend upon--water, sewer, garbage pick-up, library, police protection, etc. Talk about the problems that would result if any or all of these service were stopped. How would the community make decisions that affected everyone? Explain that these were some of the issues facing California's residents following the gold rush.
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