Welcome to the Teaching California Beta Website!

The California Historical Society (CHS) and our partners at the California History-Social Science Project (CHSSP) are excited to announce the launch the beta website for Teaching California, which provides free and flexible resources for teaching California’s History-Social Science Framework. Over the past year we have worked on developing the first set of grade-level instructional content for K-12 teachers, and building this website as a way of making that content more accessible to teachers and educators across the state. Here are some FAQs to get you started:

What materials do you currently have available on the website?

For those visiting the website upon launch in August 2019, they will find two sets of instructional materials per grade for K-12, which we are calling Inquiry Sets (the exception is Grade 4, where we have three Sets focused on the Missions and one on the Gold Rush, for a total of four). Each Set is designed to align with California’s History Social-Science Framework, which itself integrates both statewide standards for History-Social Science and English Language Development. Read more about our Inquiry Sets here

Throughout the remainder of 2019 and into 2020, we will continue to add additional grade-level Inquiry Sets on an incremental basis. These will cover additional content standards, and will include new sets of curated (and free to access!) primary sources.

Thumbnail collage of select primary sources used in Teaching California.
A sample of some of the primary sources that we currently have available for access on the website, including from the California Historical Society, US National Archives and Records Administration, and the Oakland Museum of California.

Do I have to be a teacher to use the Teaching California website?

No. While we have designed the content and features in Teaching California with K-12 teachers in mind (and by extension, their students), it is open to learners of all ages, for school or personal use. 

How can I use this website?

Teaching California is a dynamic website where K-12 teachers and other educators can discover, share, and adapt resources aligned with California’s new History-Social Science Framework.

Users will be able to:

  • Browse and download Inquiry Sets: collections of relevant primary sources, excerpted by grade-level, along with teaching resources and at least one strategy designed to improve student reading, writing, and / or oral discourse ability.
  • Search for Inquiry Sets and digitized primary sources, by grade and topic.
  • Review the History-Social Science Framework, as well as three sets of California Content Standards by grade level.
  • Share Inquiry Sets and individual sources with fellow educators and learners.
  • Read about new Teaching California project developments and other education news, including opportunities for participating in online and in-person learning experiences around Teaching California content.
Screenshot of Chapter 3 (for Kindergarten) on teachingcalifornia.org.
While browsing grade-level chapters of the Framework, users can discover Inquiry Sets aligned with that particular grade.

Where do the primary sources included in the project come from?

We have a wonderful opportunity with this project to include primary sources from repositories across California and the United States, to serve as the focus of our instruction and inquiry. These are sources from public libraries, university libraries, museums, archives, state parks, and other cultural institutions who have rich and often rarely-explored collections of historical materials. See a current list of who has contributed material to this project on our About page.

In addition, as leaders of the project, CHS is able to spotlight, and in some cases digitize, parts of its collections for inclusion in Teaching California. This includes fascinating items such as a letter written on a shirt collar during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (included for Grade 2), Charlotte Brown’s plea to the court against Omnibus Railroad Company (included for Grade 12 Government), and a stunning group portrait of nine miners during the Gold Rush (included for Grade 7).

Group portrait of nine miners, all men. Four men stand at back, five men sit at front. Man at front right holds a book; two men sitting at front hold mining equipment, including a shovel.
“[Group of miners], circa 1850s.” Photograph. California Historical Society, Group of miners, 1849-1860, DAG 9G.

If you would like to explore more California history collections currently digitized and online, please visit our Digital Library

We are hard at work producing new materials to address additional grade-level standards, which will tentatively be available late fall of 2019. Stay up to date with our News for more information on when these rollouts will be happening.

As the Teaching California Project Manager, I would like to thank our hard-working and fantastic team at CHS, as well as our content development partners at CHSSP, who provide their expertise in history instruction and as the primary authors of the Framework. Thank you to Navigation North for the creative vision and education expertise they brought to developing this website, and to the repositories, contributors, and funders who helped make this all possible. Please see more on our Acknowledgements page.

If you have more questions about Teaching California, please contact teachingcalifornia@calhist.org

One thought on “Welcome to the Teaching California Beta Website!

  1. This is fabulous. I am a retired teacher, school administrator and superintendent and am interested in extending visual learning. I use a pedagogy called Visual Thinking Strategies. I just sent the link out to all my friends. Please add me to your project mailing list.
    Thank you

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