Grade 4 Model Lessons

California: A Changing State

In Grade 4, students learn the story of their home state, unique in American history in terms of its vast and varied geography, its many waves of immigration beginning with pre-Columbian societies, its continuous diversity, economic energy, and rapid growth. In addition to the specific treatment of milestones in California history, students examine the state in the context of the rest of the nation, with an emphasis on the U.S. Constitution and the relationship between state and federal government.

  • Standard 1. Students demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California.
  • Standard 2. Students describe the social, political, cultural, and economic life and interactions among people of California from the pre-Columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods.
  • Standard 3. Students explain the economic, social, and political life in California from the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic through the Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush, and the granting of statehood.
  • Standard 4. Students explain how California became an agricultural and industrial power, tracing the transformation of the California economy and its political and cultural development since the 1850s.
  • Standard 5. Students understand the structures, functions, and powers of the local, state, and federal governments as described in the U.S. Constitution.

Standard 1

Standard 1. Students demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California.

  1. Cover – Geographic Features of California
  2. Standard 1 Acknowledgements
  3. Standard 1 Table of Contents
  4. Unit Overview: Geographic Features of California
  5. Correlation Guide for Harcourt’s Reflections
  6. Lesson 1: Where in the World is California?
  7. Lesson 2: The Regions of California
  8. Standard 1 Extended Activities
  9. Resources for the Geography of California
  10. Standard 1 Teacher Evaluation Form

Standard 2

Standard 2. Students describe the social, political, cultural, and economic life and interactions among people of California from the pre-Columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods.

  1. Cover – From Pre-Columbian Societies to the Spanish Mission and Mexican Rancho Periods
  2. Standard 2 Acknowledgements
  3. Standard 2 Table of Contents
  4. Standard 2 Unit Overview
  5. Correlation Guide for Harcourt’s Reflections – California Indians
  6. Correlation Guide for Harcourt’s Reflections – Missions and Ranchos
  7. Lesson 1: California Indians
  8. Lesson 2: Early Exploration of California
  9. Lesson 3: Early Settlements of California
  10. Lesson 4: Spanish Missions in California
  11. Lesson 5: Mexican Rule in California
  12. Daily Geography
  13. Standard 2 Teacher Evaluation Form

Standard 3

Standard 3. Students explain the economic, social, and political life in California from the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic through the Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush, and the granting of statehood.

  1. Title – The Road to Statehood
  2. Standard 3 Acknowledgements
  3. Standard 3 Table of Contents
  4. Standard 3 Unit Overview
  5. The Road to Statehood: Living History Museum
  6. Bio-Sketches: The Road to Statehood
  7. Lesson 1: Settlers and Trailblazers, 1821-1848
  8. Lesson 2: The Bear Flag Republic and the Mexican - U.S. War
  9. Lesson 3: The Gold Rush
  10. Lesson 4: The Effects of the Gold Rush
  11. Lesson 5: California Becomes a State
  12. Daily Geography or Standard 3
  13. Standard 3 Teacher Evaluation Form

Standard 4

Standard 4. Students explain how California became an agricultural and industrial power, tracing the transformation of the California economy and its political and cultural development since the 1850s.

  1. Title – California: Becoming an Agricultural and Industrial Power
  2. Standard 4 Acknowledgements
  3. Standard 4 Table of Contents
  4. Standard 4 Unit Overview
  5. Lesson 1: Migration to California
  6. Lesson 2: California in the 20th Century
  7. Lesson 3: California’s Water System
  8. Lesson 4: Key Historic Events
  9. Lesson 5: New Industries in California
  10. Standard 4 Extended Activities
  11. Resources Available from a Variety of Sources
  12. Standard 4 Teacher Evaluation Form

Standard 5

Standard 5. Students understand the structures, functions, and powers of the local, state, and federal governments as described in the U.S. Constitution.

  1. Cover – Californians and Government: Federal, State and Local
  2. Standard 5 Acknowledgements
  3. Standard 5 Table of Contents
  4. Unit Overview: Californians and Government
  5. Lesson 1: The Structure of Government
  6. Lesson 2: California State Government
  7. Lesson 3: Local Government
  8. Standard 5 Teacher Evaluation Form