Houghton Mifflin Social Studies
A More Perfect Union
What Your Child is Learning in Unit 1, "A Land of Promise"
In this unit your child will be reviewing some of the earliest events in United States history. Explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson, and Hernado de Soto will be discussed, as well as the European settlers who followed them, and the Native Americans who dealt with both groups. Your child will also review the fight for American independence, and the effect of the Revolutionary War on those who did not fight. There is also a special feature on pluralism which will help your child see how being a diverse society has challenged Americans.
Activities You Can Do at Home to Support Your Child's Learning
Chapter 1 Reviewing Exploration and Settlement
- Together with your child, look at a map of the United States. (There is one in the textbook.) Take turns pointing out the special geographical features of your region - mountains, plains, bodies of water, and/or major rivers. Talk with your child about which of these features aided and which slowed exploration.
- Talk with your child about when your extended family first arrived in the region. Where did your family come from? How many other places in the United States did they live in first?
Chapter 2 Reviewing the American Revolution
- Have your child role play being Thomas Jefferson. Have him or her tell you all the reasons the colonists want independence. Work to get your child to support each reason with an argument in his or her own words.
- Encourage your son or daughter to read additional books about the people and events of the American Revolution. You might suggest books about people such as Samuel Adams, Deborah Sampson, Paul Revere, or Mercy Otis Warren. Another topic could be specific battles of the war, such as Bunker Hill, Saratoga, Trenton, or Ticonderoga.
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