Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
Across the Centuries
What Your Child Is Learning in Unit 7 "Civilizations of the Americas"
In the next few weeks, your child will learn about the origins and growth of empires that existed in the Americas at the same time as those he or she has been studying in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Your child will explore four early American civilizations and compare their farming practices, trade, religion, and social classes. He or she will come to understand how historians and archaeologists use physical evidence to study past cultures.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 15 Early American Civilizations
- Help your child understand how early peoples discovered that plants could be grown from seeds. Put a seed on top of moist soil in a pot -- a bean seed will work especially quickly. Have your child keep the soil moist at all times, but do not cover the seed. Within a short time (as short as two or three days) the seed will sprout and begin to grow.
Chapter 16 Two American Empires
- To help your child understand better how archaeologists learn from physical evidence, set up a "household dig." Have family members each choose several objects to contribute to represent their daily life. Place all the objects in one spot, and work with your child to go through them carefully and say what the object would reveal to an archaeologist studying our culture in the future.
- In school, your child will see pages from Aztec books in which the Aztecs illustrated their daily life. Work with your child to make a similar book in which you draw or write something about your life everyday for two weeks. Compare with the Aztec book. What are the similarities and differences?
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