Fall 2018 Wednesday 11:50 -12:50  &  1- 2 pm

Teacher: Vicky Kranser: email victoriakranser@aol.com call or text  714-814-5228

Recommended Reading

Suggested Field Trips

Fall Class Syllabus

Class Activity Log

Famous Californians

Recommended Reading

in order of the topics we study in class


1. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’dell (An Indian girl gets stranded on an island off the coast of California and survives through her ingenuity)


2. Patty Reed’s Doll The Story of the Donner Party by Rachel Laurgaard (The true story of the wagon train headed to CA that was stranded for a winter in the Sierra Nevadas)


3. By the Great Horn Spoon   by Sid Fleischman (Twelve year old Jack goes in search of gold to help his aunt save her mansion and pay her debts during the gold rush.)


4. Good Fortune: My Journey to Gold Mountain by Li Keng Wong. (Wong, a former detainee and teacher, shares the story of her journey to the United States from China through the Angel Island Immigration Station, and her family’s life in Oakland Chinatown.)


5. Into the Firestorm A Novel of San Francisco, 1906 by Deborah Hopkinson (A boy’s life is changed as a result of the great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire)


6. Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan (Publisher’s Weekly “1930 captures a Mexican girl's fall from riches, her immigration to California and her growing awareness of class and ethnic tensions.”)


7. Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (A twelve year old moves to Alcatraz with his family where his dad will work at the prison)


8. Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata  (a young Japanese girl and her family are moved from their California home, into an internment camp during World War II)


Suggested Field Trips

in order of the topics we study in class


1. Chumash Indian Museum The Chumash Indian Museum is a historical site and living history center

2. Pioneer Town Visit an Old West town built as a 1940’s movie set

3. Mission San Juan Capistrano Mission San Juan Capistrano, historic landmark and museum

4. Olvera Street  Olvera Street, known as “the birthplace of Los Angeles,”

5. Ocean Institute and Lazy W Ranch Re-live the Gold Rush on this educational journey

6. Riley’s Farm  Catch yourself some Gold Fever and be a Forty-Niner!

7. Knott’s Berry Farm Step back in time as we travel through California’s early years

8. California State Railraod Museum See the history of the California railways come to life in engaging exhibits.

10. Regan Ranch Center Explore this Californians Preseidency

11. Nixon Library Explore this Californians Preseidency

12. State Capital in Sacramento At the State Capitol, the past, present and future of California interact.

13. California Museum in Sacramento  A museum dedicated to California’s rich history

14. Angel Island Immigration Station  Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (AIISF) raises awareness of the experience of Immigration into America through the Pacific.

15. Alcatraz Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the site of the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast,

16. Crystal Cove State Park Its historical significance is related to its status as one of the last intact, self-contained 20th century coastal recreational communities.

California History Syllabus

ILA 2018/19  Aliso Viejo Wednsdays 11:50-12:50  &  1:00-2:00

Instructor  Vicky Kranser   victoriakranser@aol.com   714-814-5228

California Geography and The Earliest Californians

Sept 12    Geographic Regions of CA. Talk about favorite spots in

                California   READ IN BOOK :INTRO IX -X -XI

Sept 19     Natives of CA  - Talk about the overall natives and ACORNs: READ : 1-5

Sept 26     Natives of CA  - Collect ACORNS AND SMASH THEM READ: 6-9

Oct  3      Natives of CA  - CHUMASH HISTORY - Rock Painting  READ: 9-11

Oct  10     Europeans Explore California  -Teach about Cabrillo - Conditions on ships READ: 13-21


Spanish Rule and Mexican Rule

Oct  17     The Sacred Expedition  - Gaspar de Portola, Father Junipero Serra,

                Father Juan Crispi Juan Batista _ Military Expedition READ: 22-23

Oct  24     California Missions and the El Camino Real, Presidios, Pueblos -

                Why did they  make the missions?   READ: 23-25

Oct  31     Mexican Independence from Spain (1821) – Land Grants. Ranchos replace

                 Missions, Effects of Mexican Rule on Indians   READ:27 -29

Nov  7      Rancho Life – Design a Diseno  READ:30 -31

Nov 14     Fiesta

Nov 21     No Class


Statehood and Gold

Nov 28    Sutter’s Fort   READ - Attached Reading about California Cattle Brands

Dec  5      Pioneers come west to CA. Jedediah Smith, Bartleson-Bidwell party,

                The Donner Party  READ: 32 -36

Dec 12      Life of Pioneer Children and the games they played  READ: 37 -46

Jan 9        Bear Flag Revolt, Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo READ: 47 -53

Jan 16       Discovery of gold at Sutter’s Fort Boomtowns, Life as a 49er   READ about Levi Straus

Jan 23      Gold Rush Day

Class Activity Log

September 12 Californias Four Main Regions

Today we recognized the four main regions of California in class today: Mountains, Desert, Valley and Coastal.



In addition to labeling the four regions of California, add to the map:

Names of specific mountain ranges, and mountain destinations such as Mammoth, Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead.  Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Palm Desert, Death Valley, and a few beaches. You can type the labels onto a word doc, print, cut and paste or if your child has small handwriting they can hand label it. Feel free to print out the map twice - so you have a rough draft :)


Print and fill out the Famous Californian of the week. Keep each Famous Californian each week in a plastic page protector in your notebook. I will be checking these in class, but will not be collecting them. They will stay with your child. Please note: Any week you wish to skip or are too busy, have family in town, are traveling, it is perfectly fine as the homeschool parent to not do a famous Californian that week.


And now.... Our first Californian of the Week..... He was HOMESCHOOLED for part of his education!  His accomplishments tie in nicely with what we have begun with - the geography of California and the different regions of California. He loved the outdoors, and spent time in California's mountain's beaches, deserts, and central valley. He loved camping in Yosemite. This person became famous for photographing nature scenes - many of which were in California. Any guesses???


The answer is ANSEL ADAMS!

Ansel Adams Museum learn more about this dynamic Californian

Ansel Adams Famous Californian homework page: Download PDF





This week we studied two different Native California tribes the Chumash and  the Shasta tribes.

The Chumash , a coastal tribe, were known as friendly and welcoming tribe. When the Spanish first encountered the Chumash they were impressed by their canoes and fishing skills..Chumash were also artistans, using pictograms in  caves to celebrate sacred ceremonies. The Chumash homes were Dome shaped and made from local reeds and grasses. The Chumash were excellent fishermen as well as deer and squirrel hunters. But not only did the Chumash eat meat, but they ate local berries and most importantly ACORNS.


We also learned about the Shasta tribe, a mountainous tribe, located near Mount Shasta.  Shasta homes were made of wood and were rectangular in shape. The Shasta tribe ate salmon, trout, deer, oysters , blueberries, black berries,  and other wild berries. But just like the Chumash, Acorns were a very important staple food.


Due to nut allergies, I was only able to show them how acorns are smashed and how the tanins were leached out.   If you are interested in making your own acorn flower here is a link of how to do it.

How to Make Acorn Flower


Our famous Californian of the week is a Native American poet who's father was half Chumash. Her name is Deborah Miranda.



Read pages 1- 5 in our California History books.

Finish class worksheet: Tribe Facts  and Tribe facts answers

Read the poem Indian Cartography and discuss with your parent.


Famous Californian - Deborah Miranda


Indian Cartography by Deborah Miranda


Fill out the Famous Californian of the Week template attached. Students should remember a few things about Deborah Miranda, but here is a blurb.

Deborah Miranda was born in Los Angeles in 1961, but also grew up in Washington State.  She earned a BS in teaching moderate special-needs children from Wheelock College in 1983 and an MA and PhD in English from the University of Washington.

She is now not only a poet and author, but also a professor, teaching  English at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia.




Hello Families – I apologize in getting this email to you so late.

Class Update; This week we studied the importance of the basket in

the Chumash Tribe. Students learned that baskets were used for carrying food, storing food, and even making their homes.


We watched a wonderful movie made by KCET

Tending The Wild: Weaving Community.



The move is narrated by a young Chumash women who tells of the important relationship their tribe has with the weaving plants. The Tribe speaks about land conservation and learning to work together as humans.  Finally the movie shows a Chumash women weaving a basket.


After the movie I invited the students to weave with me. Due to time and difficulty we wove with paper and Rafia. Students LOVED IT. The class went from a soft roar to silence as they all focused on their weaving task. Some baskets are still with me because they will complete them in class next week.

Our famous Californian of the week is an artist

His name is VICTOR CURRAN  - Quechan Indian Artist.





Next Week will be Cave Painting – Learning the symbols, PICTOGRAMS, of the Chumash tribe.



Read pages 5 -11 in our California History books.

Fill out the Famous Californian of the Week template attached


October 3

October 10

October 17

October 24



September 12 - Ansel Adams - Dowload PDF page

September 19 -  Deborah Miranda  Download PDF Page

September 26 - Victor Curren  Dowload PDF  Page

Famous Californians

People who have made significant contributions to California




Click on the name to download a pdf file