Fifth grade students, having been introduced to ancient Mesoamerican civilizations in the first grade, now take a closer look at their achievements and ways of life. They continue the chronological study of European history, beginning with the Age of Exploration. They learn about the Renaissance as the “rebirth” of ideas from classical civilizations; the Reformation; and some highlights of English and Russian history. They also study feudal Japan. In U.S. history, students learn about Westward Expansion, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. As always, children acquire geographic knowledge and skills as they study historical topics. Fifth graders study topics such as: World History and Geography World Geography climate zones: Arctic, Temperate, Tropical great lakes of the world (e.g., Caspian Sea, Lake Victoria) Mesoamerican Civilizations geography of Central and South America (e.g., Amazon River, Argentina) Maya, Inca, and Aztec civilizations (e.g., Mayan calendar, Machu Picchu) Spanish conquerors (e.g., effects of diseases on native peoples) European Exploration, Trade, and the Clash of Cultures motivations for exploration and trade (e.g., spices and silk, spread of Christianity) explorations and colonization (e.g., Vasco da Gama, Magellan) trade and slavery (e.g., Dutch East India Company, “triangular trade”) The Renaissance and the Reformation rise of Italian city-states (e.g.,...

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