Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A Message of Ancient Days
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 3, "Early Middle Eastern and African Civilizations"
In this unit, your child will learn how people in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Cush used irrigation to meet the challenge of living in a dry climate, and how each developed strong social and political systems. He or she will also come to understand the problems of each civilization, and to see both the positive and negative aspects of a civilization.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 6 Mesopotamia
- A Mesopotamian ruler, Hammurabi, produced a famous written law code. Today, we have unwritten rules governing issues such as household duties or television use. Help your child write down some of the unwritten rules of your household. An example would be: "At our house the last person to leave the table clears his place." or "We do not watch television during meals."
- Historians often evaluate the positive and negative aspects of past civilizations. Invite two or three adults to discuss with your child what they consider to be the greatest achievements and the worst problems of the United States.
Chapter 7 Ancient Egypt
- Encourage your child to read a book about Egyptian civilization or myths. Talk about the one thing he or she learned that was most surprising or unexpected.
- The civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Cush were each based on rivers. Use an atlas to play a game with your child in which he or she locates five major cities around the world that are also located on rivers. Some possible answers include Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Cairo, Tokyo, Beijing, and Hong Kong.
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