California and the Dream Seekers
This four part series documents the story of the birth and founding
of the "Golden State." From the first explorers who ventured across
the seas from Spain in search of El Dorado to those who came
afterward, spurred by hopes of freedom and opportunity, California
has remained the ultimate expression of the American dream. This
program is suitable for all grade levels and can be used in history,
environmental science, African-American history, archeology,
Spanish, economics, geography, and literature.
Part three of this series takes us to Yosemite National Park in the Sierra Nevada Mountains down to San Diego and the famous Hotel Del Coronado. Then revisit Los Angeles where one of the greatest technological feats of the early twentieth century came to fruition. Finally, take a drive along California's Freeways, the first major roadway development in the United States, in the country's newest toy - the automobile. This program is suitable for all grade levels and can be used in science, geography, history, literature, music, government and environmental science classes.
Discuss three reasons for the development of Yosemite National Park. Name the person(s) responsible for getting Congress to pass a bill preserving Yosemite for generations to come.
Which environmental organization was created to maintain Yosemite? Who was the founder? Find out about the local chapter in your area. Ask them to send you information about the organization. Compare the Sierra Club of today with the club founded in late 1800s. How are they similar/different?
California has declared April 21 John Muir Day. There is even a John Muir National Historic Site. What makes John Muir such an important person to the citizens of the United States?
Who is William Mulholland? What contribution did he make to the state of California? Locate the Owens River and Los Angeles on a map. Calculate the estimated distance and plot a tentative aqueduct route. Is this similar to the actual course taken by Mulholland and his crew? What were some of the things Mulholland and his men had to do in order to ensure the success of the project? What were some problems they encountered?
If you were Mulholland, what would you have done differently to prevent the tragedy experienced when the San Francis dam broke? How would you have felt if you were Mulholland? What else could the disgruntled citizens of Owens county have done to let Mulholland know they were unhappy about the proposed project? Using this experience, discuss what ways we can avoid unnecessary confrontation. Think of some things you do on a daily basis to work out problems without hurting someone (whether it be physically or mentally).
Do you think it is important for us to have a system in place to preserve our natural treasures. Why or why not? Explain. What benefit do parks and/or recreation areas bring to society? Have you ever visited a national park? If so, which one? Write a poem or short essay based on your experience there. If you have not been to a national park, what local park or recreation area have you been to? Why do you go there? Write a brief essay or a poem about your experience at your local park. A bill has been passed recently that allows all parks and recreation areas funded by the government to charge admission fees. What is the bill and how do you feel about it?
Imagine you are a farmer attempting to sell your product in a saturated market (what is meant by saturated market?) and develop an ad campaign that would convince people to purchase your goods. Look at some of the ads from the early twentieth century as well as ads created today. What makes some ad campaigns more effective than others? List some of your favorite ads (TV, radio, printed) and share with the class. Discuss what it is about the ad that makes you like it.
Our program mentions that many of the ads created during the early 1900s are now very valuable collectors items. What makes these articles so popular today? How are they different from the way ads are created today? What other items can you think of that are now valuable collectors items worth a lot of money?
Locate San Diego on a map. Which hotel in San Diego has been has been declared a national landmark by The National Trust for Historic Preservation? What is The National Trust for Historic preservation? List any national landmarks that might be in your town. If there are none, do you think there are any that should be declared national landmarks? Explain why. Contact The National Trust and find out what criteria they use to determine whether or not a building should be declared a national landmark. Using the criteria from the National Trust, determine if any landmarks in your town might be selected by the National Register as a national landmark.
After reading some works by Walt Whitman and John Muir, think of a person or place that has made some impact on your life and write a poem. If you are having difficulty organizing your thoughts, use the following outline:
Makes me feel:
What I can give back:
If you have access to a computer visit www.liglobal.com and www.yosemite.ca.us/john_muir_exhibit to view works by Walt Whitman and John Muir.
List some local parks and recreation areas in your community. Put together an informational flyer that could be distributed to local residents. Be sure to include a description of the site, a phone number, the address, directions, and any other information you feel necessary.
What are some things you can do to ensure that natural resources such as parks and beaches will be maintained for generations to come? List some of the organizations in your area that work with the community to maintain these areas. For extra credit hold a John Muir Day in your school and organize a school clean-up with your local parks department and PTA. Get your local civic leaders involved and let them know what you are doing. Think of some things you can do such as plant a garden, clean up a park, remove graffiti around your school, etc.
Automobiles played an important role in the state of California. Why do you think cars became so important? What did they provide to Californians and the rest of the United States? Examine the role of public transportation in cities around the country. What are the pros and cons of public transportation? With the issue of air pollution should Americans focus on improving public transportation? Why or why not. Defend your opinion with research evidence.