Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A Message of Ancient Days
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 4, "Early Asian Civilizations"
In this unit, your child will study the origins of India and China and how outside influences contributed to the development of each culture. He or she will also come to understand the development Hinduism and Buddhism in India, and Confucianism in China, and how these religions still influence people today.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 8 Ancient India
- With your child, find five to seven photographs of different Hindu temples in a book or magazine. Make a list of where each temple is. What country had the largest number of temples on your list? If it was India, talk about why that is so.
- With your child, follow stories about India in newspapers or radio or television news reports over the course of several days. Note any references to geographical features, then locate these features on a map of India.
- Buddhist teachings focus on how people should think and act. Work with your child to create a set of "Family Teachings" that lay down similar thoughts on how your family should think and act.
Chapter 9 Ancient China
- Encourage your child to read a book about dragons in Chinese culture. Talk about what they meant, how they are shown in books and pictures, and what myths and stories are associated with them.
- Your child will learn some of the ways the Chinese ruler Qin worked to unify the many different groups in China into one nation. These include declaring one official form of written language, new opportunities in land ownership, and the creation of a bureaucracy based on training and supervision. Discuss the positive and negative aspects of each. What did each accomplish and what did each prevent?
- Follow with your child news stories about China for a week. What changes are happening in the Chinese culture and government? Encourage your child to discuss any ways these changes are connected with some aspect of China's history that he or she has recently learned.
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