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- Kristina C., Special Education Teacher
- Covina, CA
California Teacher Resources
Find California educational ideas and activities
Help your class transition as the setting in the novel Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan, moves from Mexico to California. Beginning with prior knowledge, and moving into jigsaw research groups, class members add to and create posters and lists of information about California, immigration, and the Great Depression. The teacher can help out with hint cards and by leading discussion; however, most of the information is discovered by class members as they work through informational texts and complete a gallery walk. Close with a writing activity that relates back to the novel. A strong, well-designed lesson.
Students compare contemporary cultural differences with historical differences based on population percentage. In this cross-curriculum Gold Rush/math lesson, students analyze aspects of California's Gold Rush population and diversity compared to today's data. Students discuss intolerance of immigrants.
A highly relevant and great cross-curricular project! In teams, your class will plot a course from the East Coast to Sacramento, California passing through all of the state capital cities along the way. As part of the journey, teams will need to calculate miles traveled as well as the cost of gas, lodging, and food. The team that makes it with the least money spent wins.
Using a 2002 California Gray David recall vote as an example, young statisticians identify sources of bias in samples and find ways of reducing and eliminating sampling bias. They consider ways to select random samples from a population, and also look at different ways to represent data.
Using a variety of online resources, learners study life and society in California during the gold rush. They use a map to identify area where gold was located, explore pre-selected websites, describe mining practices, and create an advertisement to the transcontinental railroad. All these activities culminate in a portfolio and an interesting essay.
Prior to writing a research paper, it is important to learn how to read and analyze informational texts. This worksheet includes a brief report, including data, on California teens' diets. Several readers' and writers' response questions facilitate critical thought and reflection on the report. The activity includes an extension assignment that your class can complete for homework. This is a concise introduction to critically reading research-based articles.
I love lessons that incorporate the arts, they're so engaging and address a more diverse set of learners. Your class will investigate the reasons fish from the coal reef have adapted such colorful fins. They design a fish that uses color to either signal something or as camouflage, then they take a trip to the California Academy of Sciences to see real coral fish in action. Upon returning to class, they discuss their observations and then write a clever haiku to accompany their images of fishy adaptation. Note: If you don't live in San Francisco, you can always take a trip to a local tropical fish store to view fish that would live on a coral reef.
Getting kids thinking about climate change now, will hopefully push them into action when they become adults. Young environmentalists discuss the evidence and causes of climate change seen in the state of California. They brainstorm ways people can change or reduce the effects of climate change through environmental action. They each make a series of slogans based on their findings to encourage everybody to pitch in for the sake of the environment. The slogans are drawn or written onto stickers to be placed on bikes, cars, desks, or waterbottles.
Students examine the impact of the California Gold Rush. In this U.S. history lesson plan, students use several included documents to examine the causes and effects of the Gold Rush. Students are broken up into groups and choose one topic to focus on. Students then present their factual information to the class.
Fourth graders explore the California Gold Rush. In this Gold Rush instructional activity, 4th graders investigate the reasons behind the settlement rush to California. Students research various wagon trails settlers traveled, daily life during the Gold Rush, and panning for gold.