Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
America Will Be
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 1: "The United States: Past and Present"
This unit introduces the important ideas and concepts that will help your child appreciate the story of America. In Chapter 1, your child will investigate the diverse peoples and cultures that make up the United States. In Chapter 2, he or she will learn about geography in general and of America in particular. In Chapter 3, your child will explore how to understand and evaluate historical events.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 1 A Nation of Many Peoples
- With your child, make a list of the different types of people who live in your community. Talk about how their presence is expressed in your community (stores, restaurants, languages spoken or displayed in public places, specific ways of dressing, holidays celebrated, etc.).
- Take turns thinking of a favorite food, and then identifying which ethnic group first brought it to the United States. If possible, arrange to have a meal at an ethnic restaurant or prepare some ethnic food at home.
Chapter 2 This Land of Ours
- Make a list of five places outside of your community that were mentioned in the newspaper, or on television or radio. Using a globe or flat map of the country or the world, work with your child to locate as many of these places as you can. (There are maps in the back of the textbook.)
- Talk with your child about ways that the environment in your community has been affected or altered by people. Have highways or bridges been built, waterways dammed, mountains tunneled, landfills created, canals dug? Discuss the ways in which these changes have benefited and/or caused problems.
Chapter 3 Clues to Our Past
- Choose an event -- either local, national, or international--and work with your child to follow the story for a week or two. Compare how different media--newspapers, magazines, television, and radio--present the story. How do those differences affect your understanding of the event?
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