We will visit California history in a chronological sequence starting from the occupation of Russia to England, Spain, Mexico and finally the United States. Each student will work on a lapbook throughout the semester to be completed by the end as well as some fun crafts and a few presentations along with way.

Below you will find a typical class schedule for the semester detailing what your student will experience. Of course there is an ebb&flow with each class, so this schedule is an outline, not a strict schedule.

  • Week 1: Fast Facts.  What is the history of the California Great Seal and flag?  What is the population, state animal, state tree, etc. of California?  Where is the state capital?  What does the topography of California look like?
    • Project: California frosting map
  • Week 2: Flags over CA.  What are the flags that have flown over California?  How did early mapmakers draw California?  Who lived in California first?
    • Project: Draw a native land map of California OR Draw one flag that at one time flew over California.
  • Week 3: Russia.  Who explored the coast of California?  What empress encouraged California exploration?  What was the fort that Russia built in California?
    • Project: Build a craft stick fort.
  • Week 4: England.  Who explored the coast of California?  What did England want with California?  We will also share our craft stick forts with the class.
    • Sharing Topic: Research Russia or England in CA and create a presentation with five facts that you learned.  Share with the class next week.
  • Week 5: Sharing Topic Presented.  Lapbook Work. CA Game.
  • Week 6: Spain. Who discovered California?  What was Spain’s goal for the land of California?  What were the missions?
    • Project: Make Spanish Mission bell.
  • Week 7: Spain.  The Missions: What were they?  Why build them?  Who was involved?  What happened to the local population?  What is the El Camino Real?
    • Sharing Topic: Pick one Spanish mission and create a presentation with five facts that you learned.  Share with class on next week.
  • Week 8: Spain Sharing Topic Presented.  Lapbook Work. CA Game.
  • Week 9: Mexico.  How did Mexico gain California?  How did the Mexican government differ from Spain?  What was a rancho?  Who lived on the ranchos?
    • Project: Make tallow candle. 
  • Week 10: Mexico.  What was a rodeo?  What was a fiesta?  Are there ranchos today? 
    • Sharing Topic: Research and present five facts you learned about the time that CA was ruled by Mexico.
  • Week 11: Mexico Sharing Topic Presented. Lapbook Work. CA Game.
  • Week 12: USA.  What was the Bear Flag revolt?  Who was involved?  What was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? 
    • Project: Create your own revolt flag.
  • Week 13: USA.  What was the California Gold Rush?  How did people travel to California?
    • Sharing Topic:  Create a presentation with five facts about the California gold rush.  Share with the class next week.
  • Week 14: USA. Sharing Topic Presented.  Lapbook Work. CA Game.
  • Week 15: USA.  After the Gold Rush. What was the Pony Express? What were telegraph lines? What is the transcontinental Railroad?
    • Project: Make Game.
  • Week 15: USA.  What was the California Gold Rush?  How did people travel to California?
    • Sharing Topic:  Create a presentation with five facts about the California gold rush.  Share with the class next week.
  • Week 16: USA. Sharing Topic Presented. Lapbook Work. CA Game.

Regarding Videos: Please keep in mind that although I usually preview all videos, there may be some that you need to view yourself to make sure you approve of the material.  Especially the longer videos, I don’t always have time to watch every minute prior to posting.  All videos are intended to engage the child in the subject being taught.  If it doesn’t work for your child, feel free to not let them watch.