Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
America Will Be
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 6: "A Nation in Conflict"
In this unit your child will discover how the United States developed into two regional societies and how important differences led to a civil war. He or she will see how slavery influenced all aspects of Southern culture, and how industrialization made the North different from the South. Your child will then learn of the efforts to defuse tensions between the two with political compromise, and how these efforts failed.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 16 Southern Society
- To help your child understand why non-slaveowners in the South defended slavery, discuss with him or her some aspect of American society that you support, but that does not benefit you directly. For example, you might rarely criticize the government, but feel that freedom of speech is very important.
Chapter 17 The Industrial North
- To better understand the motives of utopian reformers, work with your child to plan a utopian community. Talk over what ideals it would be founded on and would encourage, where it would be located, how it would be organized, and how decisions would be made.
- Walk with your child through your community and look for examples of Irish and German influence on what you see. Look for such things as street names, churches, and foods suggesting each of these cultures.
Chapter 18 A Divided Nation
- With your child, look at the map on text page 455. Ask him or her to determine if where you live was -- in 1854 -- a free state, a slave state, or a territory.
- Help your child keep a list of compromises made with adults over a one-week period. Often these will be minor issues on which agreement is easy. Talk over how compromises become more difficult as the issues become more important.
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