California Teacher Resources
Find California educational ideas and activities
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The United States is a large country with many different climates. Graph and analyze temperature and rainfall data for Sacramento and Washington DC as you teach your class about the characteristics of Mediterranean climates. Discuss the factors contributing to California's unique weather, identifying other regions around the world with similar conditions. Find and analyze data from other parts of the world to extend the lesson and teach about other climates.
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.
Learners compare contemporary cultural differences with historical differences based on population percentage. In this cross-curriculum Gold Rush/math lesson plan, students analyze aspects of California's Gold Rush population and diversity compared to today's data. Learners 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.
Eleventh graders explore the reasons for migration to California during the Gold Rush. In this American History lesson, 11th graders read letters about the opportunities and obstacles people faced. Students create a map of migration during the Gold Rush.
Students complete pre reading, writing, and post reading activities for the book California Gold Rush. In this guided reading lesson plan, students complete writing, go over vocabulary, answer short answer questions, have discussions, and more.
Scholars read articles and have a class discussion on California's efforts to fight obesity. They will read and discuss the effects of sugar on the body and the soda tax that is being proposed in California.
Students complete pre reading, writing, and post reading activities for the book California. In this guided reading lesson plan, students complete writing, go over vocabulary, answer short answer questions, have discussions, and more.
Students identify facts about the structure of the California recall election. They research the history of recall elections throughout the United States. They analyze the positives and negatives of a governor recall election.
Students complete a Web quest about Biddy Mason's journey Westward to California as a slave and her ultimate rise to one of the wealthiest and generous woman of the Westward Movement. They present an exhibit of their research.
Students investigate the laws of using land. In this California Government instructional activity, students examine the many uses of land in California and find an environmental issue they care about. Students write a letter to a politician based on their issue.
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.
Fourth graders explain how California became an agricultural and industrial power. They trace the transformation of the California economy in its political and cultural development since the 1850's.
Students study the causes of electricity shortage in California in 2000-2001. In this social studies lesson, students evaluate the effect of the deregulation process. They discuss the actions taken by the government to solve the crisis.
Students examine the impact of the California Gold Rush. In this U.S. history lesson, 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 geography of four distinct regions of California: mountains, coast, central valley, and desert. They locate California on map, identify state's boundaries and borders, and explore agriculture, a major economic feature of California.
Fourth graders explore the California Gold Rush. In this Gold Rush lesson, 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.
Students create a project poster displaying photos, drawings, and journal writings that incorporate the major themes of California's missions, and use perspective and point of view both visually and in writing.
Fourth graders research information about some of California indigenous tribes to find out as much as possible about the first people found in the west. They research about the history of a selected tribe and their contributions to California history.