This is not just any book about American History. You do not just read this book, you experience it. In this book, you will not just read words, but interact with the book, And you will find more information on each subject by visiting our website, www.HuntThePast.com.
Why connect a website and a book, you may ask? Because there are too many topics and too much information in each unit to fit it into a book. We want you to be caught up in this web of information, diving deeper into topics you may want to know more about. Think of it this way: most curriculum and textbooks give a bird’s eye view of an event in history. They never really talk about what is most important, and the most interesting - the people and the moments. Why, you might think, do they not provide as much information as possible? Because it is extremely expensive to produce this content-rich material. Therefore, we are designing this book to entice you to go a little deeper, ask questions, and find out the truth for yourself, not just take the information you are given at face value. We provide you with a bird’s eye view from this book, and then tell you what units in our library of historical topics are related to the topic, for you to search out.
For example, in our first chapter we will talk about Mesoamerica, diving deeper into the people who populated this land, including the Olmec, Maya, Inca, and Aztec people. You then get the opportunity to learn more about these groups by searching about these topics on our website. In those online units, you will find fun and thought-provoking text, amazing illustrations and historic images of the topic, fun videos, a map, and activities for each unit that help you remember what you learned. We will also tell you the most appropriate times to use the different games you will find on our Gaming Portal.
This is an experience like no other curriculum out there. We want you to have fun, enjoy what you are reading, be in charge of what you are learning, and thereby remember 70-80% of what you are learning.
So, to begin, start by reading the Chapter. Each unit is limited to just one page, even if there is too much information to share. That way, we don’t burden you with too much information. On the following page, for each unit, you will find activities to help you critically think about the information you just read (which will help
you remember 70-80% of what you read). When it tells you to look up someone on the HuntThePast website, do that as well. See what you can find out about each of these people and write it down in the space provided for you. Just know, if you do not want to write it down, you can always draw it out. Do not be afraid to write in the margins and doodle. This is your book on American History, and you can look back at it at any time, to remind you of what you learned, and your thoughts.
WHERE IN THE WORLD DID LIFE BEGIN? Let us begin with the bigger picture. What are the earliest civilizations in the world? Looking at this map, it is said that there are five major cradles of civilization – in other words, these are the earliest, largest civilizations in the world. They include the Erlitou of ancient China, the Indus Valley of India, Egypt - in Africa, Sumerian of ancient Iraq, and the Olmec - in Central America. These are the greatest civilizations established, many thousands of years ago. Please mark them on this map:
What can you find about each of these civilizations?
Erlitou culture of China: ______________________________
Ancient Egypt, in Africa: ______________________________
Olmec Civilization, in Central America:___________________
WHERE DID AMERICA BEGIN?
Where did the story of America begin? Was it with Christopher Columbus discovering the New World, or was it the Norse (known today as Vikings) Leif Erickson? It started well before the Europeans. No one can say for certain when the Americas began. What can be said, is that those who began in America, before European explorers, most likely did not originate from there, either. Instead, they traveled there. Some archeologists believe they traveled over an ice bridge between Russia and Alaska; others believe they traveled across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, by ship; and yet others say there are those who lived here when all the continents were one, and stayed when the continents split. We will help you with this question in future chapters. First, label as much of this map as you know. See how well you know the American Continents.
UNIT #1: MESOAMERICA - Major Civilizations (W1:D1) (search the bold words at huntthepast.com to know more) In a land not so far away, near the southern border of Mexico, lived a people of much mystery. The Olmecs are regarded as the first civilization to develop in Mesoamerica, one of five cradles of civilization. The Olmec people were a civilization that began in the lower Mexico area, near 2500 BC, and ended abruptly by 400 BC. Without any known reason for their destruction, they were completely wiped out of existence. Some say it was a great battle that destroyed them; others claim it was a famine or disease in the land. These are two of the great mysteries of most ancient civilizations: where did they come from, and where did they go? Though their exact origin is unknown, some evidence shows that their DNA comes from Africa or the Middle East, and it is believed that they came by sea from an unknown African region. Though not much is known about their origin, what is known, is that they were a rich and powerful people. They made large, colossal head sculptures of their greatest military leaders, that weighed 5-20 tons and were transported far distances. Now, only 17 exist. There are small amounts of architecture that stand today - mostly ruins of large cities. There are only a few records found in all the Olmec civilization, written on stone tablets or on their architecture. Their writing looks like ancient hieroglyphs, like those in China and Egypt. Their culture is based around religion, art, and family. Their leaders may have been both spiritual and military leaders, with a singular god, depicted in a sculpture represented as a feathery serpent, though believed to be in the form of a man. The small amounts of architecture, sculptures, writing, and artwork stand as the only record of what was to be believed to be one of the most powerful ancient civilizations.
Activity #2: Big heads - The Olmecs are best known for their large stone sculptures of heads representing their great rulers. This gave prestige to that leader, knowing that those stones would last for thousands of years.
Your task is to draw one of those big rock heads of your parent. To do this, they must sit in front of you while you draw, or use a picture to draw their big rock head. While drawing, have them tell you a story of their past.
This can all be found in the Historical Conquest Book: Early American History: The Most Indepth American History Textbook: https://www.historicalconquest.com/historybooks