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 session to be completed by the end as well as some fun crafts and a few presentations along with way.

This is a live online class that meets once a week for 13-weeks.  Each week the student will use their computer/iPad to logon using Zoom to participate in the class.  All students will be visible (if they choose) as well as the teacher.  The students will have the ability to ask questions and dialog with the teacher and other students.  It will be the student/parent’s responsibility to print all materials needed for the lapbook and procure all supplies for the projects.  All classes will be recorded, so if a student misses a class, it will be available for viewing via password protected webpage.

Special Note on Lapbooks:  A lapbook is two manila file folders stapled in the middle to form a book.  Minibooks are added on each topic we discuss in class.  Thus, by the end of the course, your student will have a book filled with minibooks charting history in this time period.  Each minibook includes some fill-in-the-blank and/or a map to color.  They will be cut, folded and glued into the manila file folder.  A video will be posted to show exactly how to cut, fold and glue each minibook into the lapbook.

Special Note on Projects: Most projects will have a video posted to show the student exactly how to complete the project

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.

  • 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. White & chocolate frosting, blue & green food coloring, chocolate chips, crushed graham crackers, Ziploc bags, outline map, plastic wrap.
  • 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.  Craft sticks, hot glue.
  • 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.
    • Poster Board: Research Russia or England in CA and create a poster board with five facts that you learned.  Share with the class on Week 5.
  • Week 5: Poster Board sharing.  CA Bingo.
  • 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?
    • Poster Board: Pick one Spanish mission and make a poster board with five facts that you learned.  Share with class on Week 8.
  • Week 8: Spain Poster Board sharing.  CA Bingo.
  • 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.  Cow fat, wick, jar.
  • Week 10: Mexico.  What was a rodeo?  What was a fiesta?  Are there ranchos today? 
    • Project: Make a Cascarone.  Empty egg shells, confetti, tissue paper, glue stick.
  • Week 11: USA.  What was the Bear Flag revolt?  Who was involved?  What was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo?  What was the California Gold Rush?  How did people travel to California?
    • Poster Board:  Create a poster board with five facts about the California gold rush.  Share with the class on Week 12.
  • Week 12: USA. Poster Board sharing.  Around the Horn Game.
  • Week 13: USA. After the Gold Rush.  What was the Pony Express?  What were telegraph lines?  What is the transcontinental Railroad?