Top Image

You are here: Home / Blog / Sample Lessons from the Framework

Sample Lessons from the Framework

created Feb 25, 2016 02:30 PM

California’s Framework for History-Social Science, which is the state-adopted document that guides instruction and textbook adoption, is in the midst of a long-overdue update. The CHSSP has served as the lead author of the revised Framework, working closely with the state to ensure that the latest research, legislation, and public feedback are incorporated. Nancy McTygue, our executive director, along with former Superintendent of Public Instruction, Bill Honig, chaired the History-Social Science Subject Matter Committee, which is part of the Instructional Quality Commission (IQC). While the draft is currently being revised, educators across the state are encouraged to read and provide comments on it (it is in the midst of a second field review until February 29, 2016). The draft of each chapter can be accessed on the CDE’s website. The current timeline projects State Board review and adoption for May, 2016; Framework roll-out and implementation will follow.

Fortunate to have such an up-close view of the new Framework, we will be sharing updates through our social media accounts as well as on our website and teaching blog. In this issue, we will highlight a couple of different California-specific examples from different grade levels that underscore the instructional shifts, new content, and the ways in which our efforts to blend history, discipline-specific skills, literacy development, and civics education come together. At the beginning of the year, the Framework suggests that teachers use open-ended framing questions to guide their instruction throughout the year. As students’ studies move across space and time, they investigate a variety of documents and perspectives that help form their own interpretations about these framing questions. 

In California history, which enters into nearly every grade-level, one key theme that is reinforced is the diversity of California’s population. For example, students are encouraged to explore questions like: Why did different groups of immigrants decide to move to California? What were their experiences like when they settled? How were they treated when they arrived in California? Another new feature of the Framework is the inclusion of vignettes, or snapshots of classroom examples that explain how the content could be translated to a variety of classroom settings. Read below to preview some of the updates and be sure to share your feedback during the public review period.

Missions, Ranchos, and the Mexican War for Independence

An excerpt from the 4th Grade Chapter of the 2015 HSS Framework Draft

Why did Spain establish missions? 

  • How did the Spanish gain control?
  • How were people’s lives affected by missions?
  • How did the region change because of the mission system?

California’s missions, presidios, haciendas, and pueblos should be taught as an investigation into the many groups of people that were affected by them.  Sensitivity and careful planning are needed to bring the history of this period to life. A mission lesson should emphasize the daily lives of the native population, the Spanish military, the Spanish/Mexican settler population, and the missionaries. The teacher might begin the lesson by asking students:  “How were peoples’ lives affected by missions?”  The teacher may wish to focus on a specific mission if it is nearby and can provide resources, or he/she can focus broadly on the impact of them throughout the region. Once students have learned that they will investigate the multiple perspectives of people who lived during the mission period, the teacher presents carefully-selected primary and secondary sources, as well as informational texts written for children that provide information and context about each of the groups of people. Teachers can use literature, journals, letters, and additional primary sources that can be drawn from the local community to provide information about the mission. These sources can be challenging for all reading levels, so it is important for teachers to excerpt and support students when reading dense primary-source texts by providing them with vocabulary support, and making the sources accessible to all learners with literacy strategies.

In selecting sources and directing students’ investigations, attention should focus on the daily experience of missions rather than the building structures themselves. Building missions from sugar cubes or popsicle sticks does not help students understand the period and is offensive to many. Instead, students should have access to multiple sources that identify and help children understand the lives of different groups of people who lived in and around missions, so that students can place them in a comparative context. Missions were sites of conflict, conquest, and forced labor. Students should consider cultural differences, such as gender roles and religious beliefs, in order to better understand the dynamics of Native and Spanish interaction. Students should analyze the impact of European diseases upon the indigenous population. And as much as possible, students should be encouraged to view sources that represent how missionaries viewed missions and how natives lived there, and the role of the Spanish/Mexican settler population in facilitating the system. In addition to examining the missions’ impact on individuals, students should consider its impact on the natural environment. The arrival of the Spanish, along with their imported flora and fauna, catalyzed a change in the region’s ecosystem as well as its economy. What had once been a landscape shaped by hunter-gatherer societies became an area devoted to agriculture and the distribution of goods throughout the Spanish empire. Students can analyze data about crop production and livestock in order to better understand how people used the land and intensified the use of its natural resources. (See EEI Unit, Cultivating California 4.2.6)

Immigration and California

An excerpt from the 11th Grade Chapter of the 2015 HSS Framework Draft

How did the federal government grow between the late nineteenth and twenty-first centuries?

  • What does it mean to be an American in modern times?
  • How did the United States become a superpower?
  • How did the United States’ population become more diverse over the twentieth century?  

A key topic that Americans wrestled with in recent decades has been immigration. Students can examine census data to identify basic demographic changes; how has the composition of the U.S. population shifted between 1950 -1980 and 1980 - today, for example? By exploring quantitative immigration information, students notice significant changes in the national origins of immigrants to the United States. As with their studies of immigration from the beginning of the twentieth century, students can analyze push and pull factors that contributed to shifting immigration patterns, but they should also learn about changes in immigration policy. Starting with the Immigration Act of 1965, laws have liberalized country-of-origin policies, emphasizing family reunification, and rejecting same-sex partners of American citizens. Students can explain how these policies have affected American society. In California, Propositions 187, 209, and 227 attacked illegal immigration, affirmative action, and bilingual education. While all but one provision of Proposition 187 was blocked by federal courts, throughout the 1990s and even more so after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Congress provided for increased border enforcement. By the 2000s the status of Mexican-Americans and Mexican immigration became a national political discussion. In California Latino/as became the largest ethnic group in 2010, and Latino/a children comprised more than 51% of public schools. It was within this context that the Latino/a community became increasingly politically active. In addition, students analyze the impact and experience of refugees who fled Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War or Iranians after the Islamic Revolution. To synthesize these developments, students can address the question: Why is the United States more diverse now than it was in the middle of the twentieth century? Students can also explore how the immigrant experience has changed over time by considering the questions: How does the life of a new immigrant to the United States today compare with what it was in 1900? How do policies from the second half of the twentieth century compare with those of the early twenty-first century?

Above Image: Dance of Indians at Mission in San Jose, New California, created between 1803-07. Image from Calisphere:

Recent Blog Posts
Mar 22, 2019
CHSSP Advisory Board Meeting
Read more
Mar 07, 2019
The Futile Quest for Coverage - Part II*
The Futile Quest for Coverage - Part II*
Read more
Mar 04, 2019
CHSSP at 2019 CCSS Conference
CHSSP at 2019 CCSS Conference
Read more
Feb 07, 2019
Too Much World History?
Too Much World History?
Read more
Jan 22, 2019
Investigating the Environment in the Past and Present
Investigating the Environment in the Past and Present
Read more
Tag cloud