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Classroom Resources

Explore California history through primary documents and artifacts featured in the California Museum. These resources can be used at your own pace in your classroom or at home.

Artifact Activities

Tyrus Wong Butterfly Kite
In this activity, learners will use object based thinking to analyze a kite created by Chinese American artist Tyrus Wong. Aligned with K-5th grade standards.
Women’s Suffrage
In this activity, learners will use object based thinking to analyze a photograph from the California Women’s Suffrage movement. Aligned with K-5th grade standards.
Bear Flag
In this activity, learners will use object based thinking to analyze the California state flag, and consider how it has changed over time. They will then create a plan to research questions they have about the flag. Aligned with K-5th grade standards.

California Indians: The First People Oral History Activities

Food and Medicine
In this activity, learners will watch Andrew Galvan, Rose Ann Abrahamson, Richard Bugbee, and Ernest Siva describe natural resources traditionally used in their communities around California. Aligned with 3rd-5th grade standards.
Language Revival
In this activity, learners will watch Wesley Leonard, Rose Ann Abrahamson and Vincent Medina talk about their ancestral languages and their work in reclaiming Indigenous languages in their communities. Aligned with 5th-12th grade standards.
People
In this activity, learners will hear from California Indians from around the state by analyzing photos, art and watching four different oral history videos. Aligned with 3rd-5th grade standards.
Boarding Schools
In this activity, learners will view videos of Rose Anne Abrahamson and Ernest Siva discussing their family members’ experiences in boarding schools. Aligned with 6th-12th grade standards.
Federal Recognition
In this activity, learners will watch Rose Ann Abrahamson, Donna Cossette, and Vincent Medina discuss what it means for a tribe to have federal recognition. Aligned with 5th-12th grade standards.

Women in California Activities

Women Inspire
Explore the stories of California women from the 1700s to the present who have inspired change and reflect the ongoing struggle for equality through the “Women Inspire: California Women Changing Our World” online exhibit. Aligned with 4th-12th grade standards.
Women’s History Month
Explore the lives of two California women, Kamala Harris and March Fong Eu, elected to serve at the state and national levels, analyzing photos and documents from throughout their lives, and drawing inspiration to inform civic engagement. Aligned with 3rd-8th grade standards.

California Missions Activity

California Missions
In this activity, learners will analyze maps, graphs, and images to learn more about the California Missions and their impact on Native Californian communities. Aligned with 3rd-5th grade standards.

California Farmworkers Activity

California Farmworkers
Students will explore the history of farmworkers in California and their long and ongoing fight for safe and fair working conditions. They will also learn about the work of United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta. This activity uses resources from the California Museum and the California State Archives. Aligned with 6th-12th grade standards.

Gold Mountain: Chinese Californian Stories Activities

Gold Mountain
Explore and connect the stories of Chinese Californians across 150 years through animated videos and first-hand accounts from our “Gold Mountain: Chinese Californian Stories” exhibit. Aligned with 3rd-8th grade standards.
Transcontinental Railroad
Students will explore the stories of the California Chinese railroad workers who built the western half of the Transcontinental Railroad. By considering historical narratives on the same subject from two different online resources, students will practice combining historical information from multiple sources through notetaking and answering critical thinking questions. This activity uses resources from the California Museum and the California State Archives. Aligned with 4th-8th grade standards.

Kokoro: Sacramento’s Lost Japantown Activity

Sacramento’s Japantown
The “Kokoro: The Story of Sacramento’s Lost Japantown” Online Exhibit tells the story of the Japanese American community in Sacramento from 1900-1959, as they established a vibrant center of community, experienced forced removal during World War II, rebuilt after the war, and were impacted by the City of Sacramento’s redevelopment of their community, replacing homes and businesses with office buildings. In this activity, students will compare source material with present-day images of Sacramento, and use historic photographs to ask and answer questions about the past. Aligned with 6th-12th grade standards.

Uprooted: Japanese Americans During World War II Activities

Uprooted! Japanese Americans During WWII
In this activity, learners will hear Marielle Tsukamoto, Grace Noda, Kiyo Sato, Frank Kageta, Mas Hatano, Reiko Nagumo, Lawson Sakai, Kay Ryugo, and Les Ouchida discuss their personal experiences related to incarceration and discrimination faced during World War II. Aligned with 4th-8th grade standards.
We the People Documentary Series
Designed for classroom or small group discussion, this 7-part series by filmmaker Catherine Busch covers the incarceration of Japanese Americans and aims to inspire viewers to become informed and involved in decision-making that affects their communities and country.

Teacher Appreciation Week Activity: Education as Activism

Teacher Appreciation Week
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we highlight some of the teachers who are celebrated in the California Museum, in exhibits like the California Hall of Fame, the Unity Center at the California Museum, Uprooted! Japanese Americans During WWII, and Women Inspire: California Women Changing Our World. In this activity, learners will read about four teachers from across California history and the impact they have made on their communities. They will then choose two of these teachers to reflect on, and write about a teacher who inspires them. Aligned with K-5th grade standards.