Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
Across the Centuries
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 1, "Links to the Ancient World"
This unit explores how very differently we see the world today from how people in the past saw it. As societies come into contact with one another, they spread technology and ideas, and seem less distant from each other. By studying the Roman Empire and the Persian, Indian, and Chinese cultures, your child will learn how these peoples' contacts changed each other. He or she will also see how everyday items from the past tell us about the people who used them--and how their lives are connected to our lives today.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 1 A Changing World View
- Ask your child to look through the clothes in his or her closet and make a list of all the different countries whose names appear on the labels. Be sure he or she includes shoes, shirts, pants, hats, and jackets. Go over the list together and count how many countries your child has contact with just through his or her clothing.
- During the next two or three weeks, help your child keep a log of how many and what kinds of contacts people in your household have with people who live outside your state. The log can include relatives, friends, and business/shopping contacts. Remind your child that even as recently as hundred years ago, such contacts would have much harder. Discuss what makes these contacts easier today.
Chapter 2 Empires of the Ancient World
- Point out the buildings used for worship by different religious groups in your neighborhood or town. Talk with your child about how ideas and beliefs are carried from place to place along with products.
- If you know someone who has traveled to other countries, help your child arrange for an interview. Encourage your child to find out what this person has learned about the language, customs, clothing, and food of people living in another part of the world.
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