Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
Across the Centuries
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 8: "Europe: 1600-1789"
In this unit, your child will learn about dramatic changes in European politics in the 1600s and 1700s and how Europeans began to establish colonies around the world. He or she will see changes in technology which greatly increased the production of food and other goods, and explore changes in thought, known as the Enlightenment, which led to greater emphasis on the rights of the individual. Lastly, your child will study the two revolutions -- the American and the French -- which set the stage for the modern world.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 17 European Rule and Expansion
- King Henry XIV of France and other absolute monarchs of the 1600s spent large amounts of money constructing impressive buildings, and buying beautiful furniture and fancy clothes. With your child, find picture books at the library that show the homes and furnishings of these monarchs. If possible, find books that show what ordinary people's homes and furnishings looked like, and compare.
- England and France were rivals throughout the 1600s and 1700s. With your child, follow current news stories to determine the relationship between Great Britain and France today.
Chapter 18 The Enlightenment
- Enlightenment thinkers urged people to investigate facts rather than accept the views of others. Help your child list five statements he or she thinks are true based on personal experience and five statements accepted on the authority of others. For example, unless your child has been to France, the statement "Paris is in France" would go on the second list. "My house is painted green" would go on the first list.
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