Why did people settle in California?
Download Primary Source Set: Why People Settled in California
Throughout California, the geographic setting has had important effects on where and how localities developed. Students begin their third grade studies with the natural landscape as a foundation for analyzing why and how people settled in particular places in response to the question, Why did people settle in California? Thus teachers may utilize a variety of primary and secondary sources such as photographs, Internet resources, DVDs, and field trips to establish familiarity with the major natural features and landforms of their county and California including mountains, valleys, hills, coastal areas, oceans, lakes, desert landscapes. As students observe, describe, and compare these features, they learn to differentiate between major landforms, and they begin to consider the interaction between these features and human activity. The teacher can initiate inquiries into human-environment interaction using literature such as A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry and River Town by Bonnie and Arthur Geisert. In conducting research for this activity, students learn to differentiate between major landforms in the landscape and develop an understanding of the physical setting in which their region’s history has unfolded. Focusing on a California natural regions map and reader, students can research the ecosystems found near them; the resources provided by these ecosystems; and, the ways that people use them. They investigate the goods and services provided by these ecosystems and how they are used to support human communities.