Curriculum & Resources

The materials here can be downloaded and used in K-12 classrooms. Many of these lessons focus on local history and the diverse communities of Los Angeles. Materials on this page are copyrighted by the University of California. #locallyoriented

World History

6th Grade – Ancient Civilizations
7th Grade – Early Modern
10th Grade – The Modern World
6th Grade – Ancient Civilizations
Content Standard Lesson Title Resources
6.1 6.2 Geographic Literacy Series: Connecting the Past: A Case Study on MacArthur Park and the Westlake Area of Los Angeles Lesson Sources
6.5 Did the Caste System Unite Ancient Indian Society? Lesson
6.6 Analyzing Ancient Chinese Philosophies Lesson
6.6 Contributions and Achievements of Early Dynasties in China Lesson
6.6 Emperor Qin Shi Huang Di: Hero or Villain? Lesson
6.6 & 6.4 Pairing Art and Belief Systems in Ancient China Lesson
7th Grade – Early Modern
Content Standard Lesson Title Resources
7.2 What was the Silk Road? Lesson
7.3 How can we study Buddhist art to learn about the movement of goods, peoples, and ideas across the Silk Roads? Lesson
7.3 Reunification of the Tang in Medieval China Lesson
7.3 The Spread of Buddhism Lesson
7.4 How did Islam Spread to Multiple Countries? Source Set
7.4 What were the Effects of Arabic trade on West Africa? Source Set
7.5 The Impact of New War Technologies on Medieval China Lesson
7.3 The Rise and Fall of the Mongolian Empire Lesson
7.5 The Heian Period for Japan Lesson
7.5 How Should Historians Remember Prince Shotoku? Lesson
7.5 How did medieval Japan’s acts of borrowing from other parts of Asia shape their culture? Lesson
7.5 How did Contact with Korea Influence Japanese Religion? Lesson
7.6 What Role did Samurai have in Medieval Japanese Society? Lesson
7.6 What were the Effects of the Crusades? Lesson
7.6 Where is the Holy Land? Why is it called Holy Land? Lesson
7.6 What can Primary and Secondary Sources tell us about the Black Death? Lesson
7.6 Why did Europeans decide to go Crusade to Jerusalem in the 11th century? Lesson
7.7 How did use and control over water affect the expansion of agriculture, trade, and empire under the Aztecs? Lesson
7.7 How does the Gold Artistry of the Mesoamericans Reveal their Cultural and Religious Beliefs? Lesson
7.7 European Exploration in the Americans Source Set
7.8 Why Would Florence be the “Mother” of the Renaissance? How did the City give Birth to this Cultural Movement? Lesson
7.8 How did Renaissance Artists Change our Understanding of Perspective? Lesson
7.9 What Abuses in the Catholic Church caused Luther to Demand Reform? Lesson
7.9 What Ideas of Reform (and Church abuses) were Spread through Europe? Lesson
7.9 How did the Reformation Divide People and the States? Lesson
10th Grade – The Modern World
Content Standard Lesson Title
10.4 What led European Jews to seek a potential homeland outside of Europe in the 19th century? Lesson
10.4 How was British colonial rule responsible for the partition of the Indian subcontinent into the post-colonial states of India and Pakistan? Lesson
10.4 The Igbo Women’s War: How do the particular experiences of people, based on their identity or role in society, influence how they respond to events? Lesson
10.5 10.4 11.4 Geographic Literacy Series: World War I & Los Angeles: Wartime Conservation and the Gasoline Crisis Lesson Sources
10.4/10.8 To what extent did Japanese imperialism of Manchukuo incorporate pan-Asianism Lesson
10.6 How did the post-war treaties impact claims to the land in Palestine? Lesson
10.6/10.4 What role did female impersonations in various soldier camp performances play in allowing soldiers to explore their identity? Lesson
10.7 How have historians’ interpretations of the Russian Revolution changed over time? Lesson
10.7 Modern Revolutions: How should we remember the experiences of women during the modern revolutions? A look at the Mexican and Russian Revolutions
Lesson (coming soon)
10.8 How did life change for children displaced by the Holocaust? Lesson
10.9 How did Eastern Europeans’ thoughts about communism evolve from the end of World War II to the 1960s Lesson
10.9 Why did the US intervene in Chile? Lesson
10.9.1 How did the United States address social, political, and economic issues in post WWII Japan? Lesson
10.10 The Khmer Rouge: How can oral history help us understand/shed light on the lived experience of broad-scale traumatic events? Lesson

United States History

Kindergarten – Learning & Working Now and Long Ago
3rd Grade – Continuity and Change
4th Grade – California: A Changing State
5th Grade – Making a New Nation
8th Grade – Growth and Conflict
11th Grade – Modern US History
12th Grade – US Government & Economics
Kindergarten – Learning & Working Now and Long Ago
Content Standard Inquiry Question Resources
K4 K6 Geographic Literacy Series “Long Ago and Now” Lesson Sources
3rd Grade – Continuity and Change
Content Standard Inquiry Question Resources
3.1 What can this photograph tell us about the Harvey family in 1874? This lesson includes the primary source analysis chart and writing frames. Lesson
3.1 What can we learn about Japanese culture through their folktales and artwork? Lesson
3.3 How has the Salinas area changed over time? This lesson addresses the importance of primary sources and includes a scaffolded paragraph. Lesson
3.3 How did the railroad change the economy of the Salinas community? Why were the conductor and caboose important to the successful operation of the railroad train? Lesson
3.3 Geographic Literacy Series: The Tournament of Roses Parade Route in Pasadena — Then and Now Lesson
3.3 Geographic Literacy Series: Using Transportation to Teach City Development: Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and What Else?? Lesson Sources
3.3 Geographic Literacy Series: Why do People Move to Los Angeles? Lesson Sources
4th Grade – California: A Changing State
Content Standard Inquiry Question Resources
4.1 Why would Charley Parkhurst decide to live as a man? Lesson
4.1 What are the main characteristics of the four geographical regions of California? Lesson
4.1 How did the Union Station change transportation in Los Angeles, California in the 1940s? Lesson
4.1 4.2 Geographic Literacy Series: An Introduction to Media Literacy: Analyzing Images Through a Historical Lens Lesson Sources
4.1 How did the Ute Indians create community? Lesson
4.2 How did land grant requirements under Mexican rule effect the population of California during the Mexican period? Lesson
4.3 How did Mexican Diseños and land grant court cases of the 1840s and 1850s impact the Californios as they gained United States citizenship? Lesson
4.3 How have the words and deeds of people and institutions shape democracy in the US? Lesson
4.3 Describe the main events of the Bear Flag Revolt. Lesson
4.4 How has our concept of water use changed over time? Lesson
4.4 How did railroads affect California’s economy in the late 1880s? Lesson
4.4 How did this part of California- the dry, desert- become as agricultural area? Lesson
4.4 How did miners and mining change the environment of California? Lesson
4.1 4.2 Geographic Literacy Series: An Introduction to Media Literacy: Analyzing Images Through a Historical Lens Lesson Sources
5th Grade – Making a New Nation
Content Standard Lesson Title Resources
5.2 Why did the French claim land in North America? Lesson
5.2 What was Columbus’s attitude toward the native people of the islands and how did this affect his treatment of them? Lesson
5.3 Why did the Five Nations choose to come together to form the Iroquois League? Lesson
5.3 What was the purpose of the Proclamation of 1763, and how did the colonists respond? Lesson
5.3 How did the Spanish and indigenous people in the Americas view each other upon their first meeting? Lesson
5.4 How did the thirteen colonies participate in the triangular trade? Lesson
5.5 How was consumption and production a response to the Townsend Acts? Lesson
5.5 What caused colonists to take part in the Boston Tea Party? How did British policies towards the thirteen colonies lead to the American War for independence? Lesson
8th Grade – Growth and Conflict
Content Standard Lesson Title Resources
8.1 What role did indentured servants play in the development of the English colonies in America? Lesson
8.1 How was the geography of Colonial America described by early settlers? Lesson
8.1 How does the biography of an important figure like Benjamin Franklin help us to understand the philosophical principles on which the United States was founded? Lesson
8.1 “Why was diplomacy important for the success of the Americans in the Revolutionary war?” Lesson
8.1 How did Thomas Jefferson state in the Declaration of Independence that the colonies had the right to break away from King George III? Lesson
8.1 How did the Patriots use propaganda to turn the killings on King Street in Boston on March 5, 1770 into the Boston Massacre? Lesson
8.1 How can we use primary sources to better understand the American Revolution? Primary Source Set
8.1 What occurred during the Boston Massacre? Lesson
8.2 How did the Pilgrims use the Mayflower Compact to justify forming a new colony in North America? Lesson
8.2 Were the Founders in favor of the slave trade or were they opposed to it? Lesson
8.2 Why is a centralized government important for the founding of America? Lesson
8.2 How did state constitutions define the rights of citizens? Lesson
8.2 Why did the Antifederalists fail? Primary Source Set
8.3 How did the conflicts between Jefferson and Hamilton shape the politics of the nation? Lesson
8.3 How and why do federal and state governments borrow money? Lesson
8.3 Should the freedom of speech and the press ever be limited? Lesson
8.3 How much power should the federal government have and what should it do? Primary Source Set
8.3 How did the views of Hamilton & Jefferson differ on the issue of a National Bank? Lesson
8.3 How did Hamilton’s ideas about the American political system differ from and Jefferson’s ideas? Lesson
8.4 How do Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper reflect and influence American writing and artists in the new republic? Lesson
8.6 How and why was the Declaration of Sentiments modeled after the Declaration of Independence? Lesson
8.6 How did water power the early Industrial Revolution in the United States? What effect did industrialization have on American rivers? Lesson
8.6 How did Americans and Native Americans respond to westward expansion? Lesson
8.7 How did slave resistance impact the southern plantation and economy? Lesson
8.8 How were Native Americans affected by Jacksonian Democracy? Lesson
8.8 How effective was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in securing the rights of Mexicans living in the territory of the Mexican Cession? Lesson
8.8 How did the Gold Rush impact California’s population and economy? Lesson
8.8 How did the Gold Rush impact California’s population and economy? Lesson
8.8 How effective was the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in securing the rights of Mexicans living in the territory of the Mexican Cession? Lesson
8.8 Geographic Literacy Series: Image vs. Reality: Olvera Street Lesson Sources
8.8 Geographic Literacy Series: Manifest Destiny: The Human Impact Lesson Sources
8.8 8.9 How did the land grant court cases of the 1840s and 1850s violate the Californios’ rights gained under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? Lesson
8.9 How did members of the Antislavery movement differ in motivation and strategy? Lesson
8.9 How did slavery contribute to the onset of the Civil War? Lesson
8.9 How did John Brown affect the movement to abolish slavery? Lesson
8.9 How did Americans’ movement to the West contribute to tension between the North and the South? Lesson
8.9 8.10 Geographic Literacy Series: What was Altadena’s Connection to the Civil War? Lesson Sources
8.10 What influences a person’s perspective? What shapes a person’s perspective? Lesson
8.10 8.11 Was the Civil War a war for Freedom? From THE HISTORY BLUEPRINT History Blueprint Lessons
8.11 How did the development of the cotton gin impact the economy of the agrarian south and lead to the increased dependency on slavery? Lesson
8.11 How were the rights of African Americans, guaranteed by Congress in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, later restricted? Lesson
8.12 How did the relationship between the federal government and the Sioux change as federal policies toward Plains Indians evolve? Lesson
8.12 Were Chinese Americans free in the West? Lesson
8.12 “Beyond the Golden Spike”: Union Station, Chinese Immigration, and the Transcontinental Railroad Lesson Matrix Packet 1: Union Station & Chinatown Packet 2: Chinese Immigration & Working the Mines Packet 3: Building the Transcontinental Railroad Packet 4: Chinese Laborers & the Railroad
11th Grade – Modern US History
Content Standard Lesson Title Resources
11.2 Geographic Literacy Series: Visual Literacy: Making Comparisons in Our Neighborhoods — Then and Now in Alhambra and the San Gabriel Valley Lesson Sources
10.5 10.4 11.4 Geographic Literacy Series: World War I & Los Angeles: Wartime Conservation and the Gasoline Crisis Lesson Sources
11.5 What do blues songs of the 1920s and 1930s tells us about women’s sexuality? Lesson
11.8 How did The Ladder magazine provide lesbian women support in the 1950s? Lesson
11.9 How were gays and lesbians viewed and treated by the U.S. government? Lesson
11.10 What led to the segregation of neighborhoods in the United States? Lesson
11.10 How have opportunities for Mexican immigrants to the U.S. changed during the 20th century? Lesson
11.10 How did the Black Panther Party’s survival programs, specifically the Free Breakfast Program, support the organization’s larger goals for systemic change? Lesson
11.10 How were the ideas of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X similar and different as they worked to achieve a better future for black people in America? Lesson
11.10 How did the black civil rights movement influence other activist movements of the late 1960s and 1970s? Lesson
11.10 What caused the Black Cat Tavern Riots? Lesson
11.10 To what extent was the movement for LGBT rights part of the broader movement for Civil Rights? Lesson
11.10 How did the movement for LGBT equality go from assimilation to “coming out” in the 1950s-1970s? Lesson
11.10 How did Bayard Rustin’s identity shape his beliefs and actions? Lesson
11.10 11.11 Were the 1950s truly the “dark ages” for gay men and women as some historians have claimed? Lesson
11.10 11.11 Postwar LGBT History in Los Angeles and the Nation Primary Source Set
11.11 Did the environmental movement of the 1970’s achieve its goals? Lesson
11.11 Why and how did activists respond to the AIDS crisis of the 1980s? Lesson
11.11 How did Harvey Milk and the Briggs Initiative unite marginalized groups? Lesson
11.11/12.2 Through analyzing Audre Lorde’s essay on multiple identities and systems of oppression, how do power and privilege impact the relationships people have with each other as well as with institutions? Lesson

Special Projects with Local Partners

Lost LA Curriculum Project
LGBTQ History Lesson Plans
History Blueprint Lesson Plans


California History Framework
Planning Guides & Templates
Primary Sources
Primary Sources

The HGP Google Search Engine – only searches academic websites!

Calisphere: California history archives:

Lost LA: Series of Local history essays with embedded primary sources:

LA as Subject:

Selected Resources for Teaching Ethnic Studies:

ONE Archives at USC: Digital archives of LBGTQ history:

Mapping Indigenous LA: Explores LA indigenous history via maps and digital storytelling:

The Process: a blog for American history created by the Organization of American Historians:

Los Angeles Public Library:

The Seaver Center at the Natural History Museum:

T-RACES: Redlining in California:

US History Matters at George Mason University:

World History Matters at George Mason:

The American Memory Collections: The Library of Congress:

Edtech Teacher’s Best of History Websites:

Library of Congress:

Yale’s Avalon Project:

PBS Learning:

Nova Ancient:

The British Museum:

BBC History:

BBC Ancient History:

BBC History for Kids:

BBC Hands on History:

BBC Primary:

Gilder Lehrmann:

The Center for History and News Media:

The British National Archives:

Odyssey Home Page by Emory University: Ancient and Pre-Modern World History

National Archives Digital Vaults:

Fordham University Sourcebooks Project:


California Common Core: (History/Social Studies starts on page 78)

California Content Standards:

Sites of Encounter Archeology Bins- reserve here! (Coming Soon)