Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
Across the Centuries
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 4 "Asian Civilizations"
During the next few weeks, your child will learn about three Asian empires - the Mongol, Ottoman, and Mughal - and how they grew strong, then eventually lost power. Then he or she will study the early Chinese and Japanese civilizations. Chinese contributions, such as the development of money, and a civil service based on merit, will be examined, as will the Chinese inventions of gunpowder, guns, and the compass. Your child will also investigate the ways in which Japan's geography affected its development, and its religions, Shintoism and two Buddhist sects, Amida and Zen.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 7 Three Empires
- Tolerance of other religions was important in the growth of early Asian empires. Work with your child to list how things might be different if our country did not have laws guaranteeing religious tolerance.
- Truly new inventions are rare. With your child, write a list of any inventions you feel have made important changes. (Some examples: electricity, airplanes, computers, vaccines.) Talk about how your lives would be different without these inventions. Which items were invented in your lifetime?
Chapter 9 Japan
- Japanese culture developed the haiku poem. A haiku has only 17 syllables: the first line has five syllables, the second seven, and the third five. With your child, look at book of haiku poetry at the library. Then take turns creating a haiku about your family, home, or some important event in your life.
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