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School Activities

4th Grade Social Studies


Calisphere - Themed Collections: Primary Source Sets in Historical Context


PBS Videos:


National Archives: 4th Grade Resources for Teaching History in California


Gold Rush Web Resources  - four interactive sites; includes curriculum resources


Object of History: The Gold Nugget  - This object-based learning activity revolves around the gold nugget that began the California gold rush.


Van Valen's Gold Rush Journey  - students investigate the authentic journal of Alex Van Valen, a man who set sail in 1849 to stake his claim in the California gold fields, to discover what life was; includes teacher resources.


Native Americans of 1770  - map of California indicating all of the tribes and their territories

Native American chart  -

Native American Facts for Kids  -

SFPL Social Studies Fact Cards  - (need SFPL card to log on) - CA Indian Tribes


California Missions Resouce Center  -

California Mission Virtual Tour  -

Calisphere - California Missions 1780 to present  - includes images of different missions

Questions to Consider:

  • What architectural similarities do you see in each of the mission images?
  • What types of people do you see using the missions over the years?
  • How do we see the impact of the missions on modern California life and building styles?

 Dig Into History with California Jones: California Missions - Teacher's Guide  - accompanies Dig Into History DVD

Mission System  - HippoCampus video about development of the missions


**SFPL "Social Studies Fact Cards"  - (need SFPL card to log in) - has grade-level accessible information about California missions, explorers, states, countries, and ancient civilizations.