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California Cultures

California Cultures Lesson Plans

These teacher-created lesson plans for grades 4-12 build on selected images in California Cultures. Use them just as they are, or as springboards for your own creative ideas. Each lesson plan aligns with specific California Content Standards, and can be printed as a Word or PDF file for ease of use.

Los Californios: California’s Spanish, Native American, and African Heritage

Grade: 4

Students learn about Rancho De Buenos Ayres, located in what is now the Westside area of Los Angeles. This unit develops an understanding of how the Californios had to adapt to a new language and legal system in order to retain ownership of their land.

Children in the Fields: The Life of the Hispanic Child Laborer During California’s Agriculture Explosion

Grade: 4

Students gain a deeper understanding of the California agriculture industry, its relationship to farm workers, and the experiences of child laborers during the 20th century and today.

"How Do Men Like You Become Great?" The Early Years of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche

Grade: 4-8

Students learn about the life and achievements of Dr. Ralph J. Bunche, the first African American to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. The unit also helps students understand how he was able to accomplish so much during the height of Jim Crow laws and segregation in the United States.

Stealing Home: How Race Relations, Politics, and Baseball Transformed Chavez Ravine

Grade: 8-12

Students learn how the political, societal, and economic realities of the 1950s and early 1960s combined to drive long-time Mexican American residents out of the Chavez Ravine communities of Los Angeles so that the city could build a new stadium for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Prints of Self Help Graphics: The Chicano Movement in California — Culture, Causes, and Community

Grade: 9-12

This unit uses the prints of Self Help Graphics, an East Los Angeles gallery and community art center, to help students learn about the culture and community of the Chicano movement in California from the 1960s to today.

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