Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A Message of Ancient Days
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 2, "The Earliest People"
In this unit your child will learn about the first period of human history. He or she will study how our distant ancestors developed tools, language, agriculture, and eventually, cities. He or she will also discover how historians learn about the past from broken tools, parts of skeletons, and incomplete artifacts.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 4 The Depths of Time
- Your child is learning how people long ago used simple objects as tools. Today, we still adapt simple objects to perform a variety of tasks. For example, a pencil can be used to write with, to prop open a window, or stir a can of paint. Work with your child to think of other examples of different ways to use simple household objects in new ways.
- If possible, go to a nearby museum with your child to look at exhibits of tools and artifacts made thousands of years ago. Museum guidebooks and display information should help explain how the tools were made, and what they suggest about the past. Discuss with your child.
Chapter 5 Development of Societies
- Mobility was very important to hunters and gatherers. It is still an important component in some work today. Work with your child to develop a list of workers who are still mobile, such as farm workers, sales representatives, and professional athletes.
- Complex civilizations depend on the creation of surplus goods so that people do not have to spend all their time gathering materials to survive. Work with your child to make a list of five items produced in your region that are surplus and sold to other regions, such as fish from the ocean, or milk from cows, or vegetables grown in large farms.
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