Water and Growth

Why was water important to the growth of California? Download Primary Source Set: Water and Growth

This inquiry set can be used to explore how water has been a valuable and exploited, and eventually highly-managed, natural resource in the state of California.

California Missions, the Environment, and the Economy

Why did Spain establish missions? And how did they gain control? What impact did this encounter have upon Native peoples, Spanish missionaries and military, the Spanish/Mexican settler population, and California’s natural environment? Download Primary Source Set: California Missions, the Environment, and the Economy

This lesson introduces students to some of the lifeways of Native Californian communities before the arrival of newcomers (Europeans and Americans).

California Indians & the Mission System

Based on the provided sources, was life on the missions more positive or negative for the California Indians?  Download Lesson Set: Missions

This task is part of a larger unit on the Spanish colonization of California and the mission system. This historical investigation is structured as a performance task to provide teachers an opportunity to teach the skills and habits of mind necessary to complete a performance task “on demand” at the end of the year.

Gold Rush

How did the discovery of gold change California? Download Primary Source Set: Gold Rush

The goal of this inquiry set is to give students a comprehensive understanding of the lasting impact that the California Gold Rush had on the people living in California, as well as the demographic, economic, and environmental changes that occurred between 1848 and the 1870s.