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NOTE: Although the site is arranged according to grade 3 and 4 content standards, the available material is appropriate for all grade levels and teachers are welcome to use it for other grades too. Please direct any questions to

Summary of Topics in the Grade 3 History-Social Science Content Standards

3.1 Physical and human geography
1. Local geographical features
2. Use of resources and modification of the physical environment
3.2 American Indian nations
1. National identities, beliefs, customs and traditions
2. Adaptation to local environment
3. Economy, government and relationship to federal and state governments
4. Interaction with new settlers
3.3 Sequence of local events and impact of each period of settlement
1. Explorers, settlers, their traditions and contributions
2. Economies established by settlers, private property, entrepreneurship
3. Establishment of communities, individual and family contributions, change over time
3.4 Government, rules and laws
1. Reasons for rules and laws and the consequences for violating them
2. Public virtue, role of citizens in community and civic life, participating in a classroom
3. Important local and national landmarks, symbols and documents
4. The three branches of government, local government
5. The ways California, other states and sovereign American Indian tribes contribute to the making of our nation
6. American heroes who took risks to secure our freedoms
3.5 Economy of the local region
1. Use of natural, human and capital resources to produce goods and services
2. Local and imported goods
3. Cost and benefit trade-offs in individual economic choices

Topics in the Grade 4 History-Social Science Content Standards

4.1 California’s physical and human geographic features
1. Coordinate grid system of latitude and longitude
2. North and South Poles, equator, prime meridian, tropics, hemispheres
3. State capital, physical environments of California’s regions
4. Pacific Ocean, rivers, valleys, mountain passes: effects on the growth of towns
5. Communities in California; land use, vegetation, wildlife, climate, population density, architecture, services and transportation.
4.2 Life in pre-Columbian societies, Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods
1. Major nations of California Indians; adaptation to their environment
2. European exploration and settlement
3. Spanish exploration and colonization
4. Spanish mission system
5. Daily lives of people: presidios, missions, ranchos and pueblos
6. Influence of Franciscans on the economy
7. Effects of Mexican War for Independence
8. Mexican rule: land grants, secularization of missions, rancho economy
4.3 Life during Bear Flag Republic, Mexican-American War, Gold Rush, statehood
1. Locations of settlements, including Mexican settlements
2. How and why people traveled to California; routes they traveled
3. Effects of the Gold Rush; daily life, politics, physical environment
4. Women who helped build California
5. How California became a state; how new government differed from previous
4.4 Development of California since 1850; economic, political, cultural
1. Pony Express, Overland Mail service, Western Union, transcontinental railroad; Chinese workers’ contributions
2. Effects of Gold Rush on California’s economy; economic conflicts
3. Immigration and migration between 1850-1900; conflicts and accords
4. American immigration, migration, settlement, growth of towns and cities
5. Effects of Great Depression, Dust Bowl and World War II on California
6. Development of new industries since the turn of the century
7. Evolution of California’s water system; dams, aqueducts, reservoirs
8. Development of the public education system; universities, community colleges
9. Influence on the nation’s artistic and cultural development; entertainment industry
4.5 Local, state and federal governments
1. Importance of the U.S. Constitution
2. California Constitution
3. Compare/contrast federal, state and local governments
4. Structure and function of state governments; elected officials
5. Components of California’s governance structure; cities, towns, Indian rancherias and reservations, counties, school districts