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General Resources

California Heritage Collection

The Bancroft Library shares an archived online collection of more than 28,000 images of California's history and culture.

California Historical Societies and Museums

Dogtown Territorial Quarterly offers a summary of each of the many Societies and Museums listed. Also included are addresses, phone numbers and the cost of admission. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and find weblinks to the Museums, State Historic Parks, and California-related history websites.

California History Online

Explore California's rich history from the early Native Americans through the Great Depression.

California State Historic Parks

Dogtown Territorial Quarterly provides a list of California State Historic Parks, the locations, addresses and phone numbers.

The CREEC Network

The California Regional Environmental Education Community connects educators with existing high quality environmental education resources.

Oh, California

Houghton Mifflin makes available a variety of resources that support and extend the textbook "Oh California". The resources include lessons, unit activities and resources, home/school connection, and more.

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An Online Guide to Maps and Map Skills

The maps we use most in our every-day lives when we want to go from one place to another are road maps. While technology has changed the way we get directions, knowing how to read a road map is very important. This article will help you learn more about different kinds of maps and how to read and use them.

California's Coastal Geography

Ceres provides excellent information about the California coastal mountains, streams and rivers, marine terraces, bluffs and headlands, coastal sand dunes, beaches, wetlands, rocky intertidal, islands with off shore rocks, nearshore waters, and open ocean.

California's Natural Resources

Learn about California's precious natural resources in the coastal regions, forests, deserts, wetlands, and water.

Color Landform Atlas of the United States

Here is a great resource for topographical maps at the county level for each of the states. It provides a shaded relief map of California, county map, black and white map, satellite image, postscript map and links to other resources.

Images of the California Environment

The Geo-Image Project provides a clickable map for photos of California's environmental regions and subjects.

Virtual Museum of the Mojave Desert

Schools of California Online Resources for Education present "A Virtual Museum of the Mojave Desert" aligned to Grade 3 and Grade 4 California History-Social Science Standards. Topics covered are: animals, plants, people, weather, and saving California's deserts. Also included are suggested class activities.

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The First Californians: Native Americans

Appropriate Methods When Teaching About Native American Peoples

Provides suggestions on appropriate ways to present information about Native Americans.

California Native Americans

This ThinkQuest, available in both English and Spanish, provides information on the history and lifestyle of California Native Americans.

California's Native Peoples

Lecture topics presented by Chuck Smith at Cabrillo College.

Chumash Indian Life

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History provides information about the Chumash life, food, medicine, myths, games, painted caves, language, and a 13,000 year timeline.

The Miwok Indians of Yosemite

The students at Woodland School share information on the history, foods, shelters, games, tools, art, and legends of the Miwok.

Muwekma Ohlone History

Learn about the Ohlone Native Americans who lived in the San Francisco area.

Shapes and Uses of California Indian Basketry

Pictures and uses of baskets which include plant food gathering and transport, storage, food serving, food preparation, gift baskets and more.

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The Age of Exploration: Student Activities

Learn how to create a compass, astrolabe, globe, and quadrant. Identify navigational instruments and parts of a ship. Learn about latitude and longitude and much more.

Coastal Navigation and Exploration of the Monterey Bay Area

The Monterey County Historical Society provides a short history of the European exploration of the western coast of North America from 1542 - 1696. The explorers that are included in the articles are: Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Bartolome Ferrelo, Francis Drake, Francisco Gali, Sebastian Rodriguez Cermeno, Sebastian Vizcaino and more.

European Voyages of Exploration

This site includes short biographies about Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Hernando Cortez, Juan Bautista de Anza, Sir Francis Drake, and Sebastian Vizcaino.

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo

Learn about Cabrillo who led the first European expedition to explore the west coast of the United States.

Web de Anza: An Interactive Study Environment on Spanish Exploration and Colonization

Read primary source documents of Juan Bautista de Anza's two expeditions from the Sonoran desert to northern California from 1774 -1776. Eight diaries and one letter written by soldiers, colonists and friars are available in both English and Spanish. Included in the site are an atlas, a gallery of pictures, historical information, and a teacher's center with support for National/State Standards, lessons and related web links.

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California Mission History

This site offers a history of each of the 21 California Missions and authentic California Mission Music.

California Mission Interactive

Two bicyclists share their journey to twelve of the California missions.

California Missions Project for 4th Grade Classrooms

Participate by visiting an historic site during a virtual fieldtrip designed for 4th grade classrooms in California.

California Missions, a Web Quest

Students use Internet resources and other resource material to research the California Missions and create presentations using HyperStudio, PowerPoint, or something similar. Included on this site are links to mission resources and teacher resource websites.

Cyber Serra Virtual Mission Tour

Newhall Elementary School created Cyber Serra, a modern Father Junipero Serra, to serve as your tour guide for the 21 California Missions.

Explore the California Missions

Designed as a fourth grade WebQuest.

Mission Tour

Take a vitual mission tour of each of the 21 missions in California!

The Spanish Missions of California

This ThinkQuest entry was developed by two high school students to include the history of missions, a virtual tour of San Juan Capistrano, a glimpse into the lives of different mission inhabitants, and more.

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Mexican California

Mexican American War

Description of the Mexican American War with possible causes and results explained.

Mexican California

Background information from the California History Collection.

Mexican Independence Day Lesson

K-12 Lesson from the California Heritage Collection at UC Berkley. Contains suggested discussions, references, paintings, and assessment.

Richardson Adobe: Los Coches Rancho

A visit to California State Historic Landmark 494 includes a plaque, site photo and brief history.

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Gold Rush

By the Great Horn Spoon: A Gold Rush Adventure

This is an excellent companion resource for teaching "By The Great Horn Spoon" by Sid Fleischman. The text is available in English and Spanish. You can take a journey with the main character following his route on an image map, visit San Francisco, or join a miner in gold country. Also available are great classroom activities, lesson plans on writing and links to other Gold Rush web sites.

California's Gold Rush

The Oakland Museum of California provides a virtual tour of a real exhibition at the museum with curriculum materials for teachers.

Gold Dust or Bust

Musical plays for the musically timid teacher. A musical for grades 2 through 6th which highlights the gold rush.

The Gold Rush

PBS online makes available information and fun facts about the gold rush, with teacher resources.

Gold Rush Sesquicentennial

The Sacramento Bee chronicles the Gold Rush's 150 years celebration by providing interesting articles about the period.

The Museum of the City of San Francisco

The Museum of the City of San Francisco offers articles and primary sources about the Gold Rush. Resources for California History are organized by an historical period index, subject and year. There is also a listing of over 80 biographies.

Wayback Machine - Gold Rush

Travel in the Wayback Machine to 1848. Be present at the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill and listen to the events that led up to the gold rush.

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Angel Island

Learn about the history of Angel Island and the part it played in the Chinese immigrant's experience between 1910 and 1940.

Chinese-American Contribution to Transcontinental Railroad

Chinese Start Monterey Fishing Industry

Chinese immigrants played an important part in the development of the Cannery Row area in Monterey. Learn how they helped to make Monterey one of California's most successful fishing ports.

Discussing Immigration Through Literature

The Teacher's Asian Studies Summer Institute shares activities for "Coming to America" by Betsy Maestro, "The Lotus Seed" by Sherry Garland, and "Grandfather's Journey" by Allen Say. Each book is summarized, and activities are offered in the areas of language arts, social studies, art, and science.

A Jar of Dreams

The San Diego County of Education provides activities and web resources for "A Jar of Dreams", the story of a young Japanese-American girl growing up in California during the 1930's, a time of great racial prejudice. Activities are tied to the 5th Grade Language Arts Standards.

The Multicultural American West

Access multicultural information about Native Americans, African, Asian/Pacific, and Chicano/Latino, present and past cultures, and women and men of the West.

National Japanese American Historical Society

Site dedicated to the historical preservation, promotion, and dissemination of materials relating to the history and culture of Japanese Americans.

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Growth and Development

California State Railroad: Railroad History

This short history of the railroad focuses on the linking of the nation, the golden age of railroading, and the era of expansion to the present day.

Central Pacific Railroad: Photographic History Museum

Chinese-American Contribution to the Transcontinental Railroad

Driving the Last Spike

The Museum of the City of San Francisco offers a short history about the coming of the Transcontinental Railroad in the form of a news article about the "Big Four".

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Modern California


The site links to information about famous Californians, climate, colleges, constitution, courts, economy, capitol tour, flag, flower , governor, highway markers, large cities, national parks, newspapers, and many more topics.

Official California Home Page

This is a rich resource of state sites for government, health care, agriculture, business, education, emergency services, technology, history, and much, much more.

Virtual Tour of California

California Mission Interactive

Two bicyclists share their journey to twelve of the California missions.

California State Historical Landmarks

Take a photo tour of many of the California State Historical Landmarks. Landmarks are organized by counties.

Virtual Museum of the Mojave Desert

Schools of California Online Resources for Education present "A Virtual Museum of the Mojave Desert" aligned to Grade 3 and Grade 4 California History-Social Science Standards. Topics covered are: animals, plants, people, weather, and saving California's deserts. Also included are suggested class activities.

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