UCBHSSP Lessons

This list includes lessons created by teachers in our programs as well as in collaboration with UCBHSSP staff and graduate students. Search the database for lessons aligned to the appropriate grade level standards.

Grade Lesson Topic Focus Question/Lesson Description Lesson File Includes Primary Sources? CA Unit Content Standard
3rd

Learning About Japanese Culture through Folktales and Art

What can we learn about Japanese culture through their folktales and artwork? This lesson includes analyzing artifacts, Keep It or Junk It?, sentence and passage level analysis and a writing prompt. Download Yes 3.1
3rd

Early Salinas History

What can this photograph tell us about the Harvey family in 1874? This lesson includes the primary source analysis chart and writing frames. Download Yes 3.1
3rd

Growth of the Salinas Community

How has the Salinas area changed over time? This lesson addresses the importance of primary sources and includes a scaffolded paragraph. Download Yes 3.3
3rd

Salinas and the Railroad

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? This lesson includes the cause and effect chart and a structured paragraph. Download Yes 3.3
4th

Charley Parkhurstand Stagecoach Drivers in 19th c. California

Why would Charley Parkhurst decide to live as a man? Download Yes
4th

California Regions

What are the main characteristics of the four geographical regions of California? This lesson includes passage level deconstruction, basic paragraph outlines, and a written description with instructions. Download Yes 4.1
4th

Land Grants in California

How did land grant requirements under Mexican rule effect the population of California during the Mexican period? This lesson includes compare and contrast exercises, cause and effect analysis, basic paragraph framing, and letter outlining. Download Yes 4.2
4th

Ute Indian Family Life

Focus Question: How did the Ute Indians create community? This lesson was used as a demonstration lesson with 4th grade students in Colorado. The lesson uses Headings & Highlights and Thesis/Evidence as a reading strategy to drive student understanding. Download No 4.2
4th

Land Allotments in Spanish California

Unit Focus Question: How did California transition from a Spanish outpost to the 31st state in the United States of America? Lesson Focus Question: How did Mexican Diseños and land grant court cases of the 1840s and 1850s impact the Californios as they gained United States citizenship? Download Yes 4.3
4th

Diversity and Conflict During the Gold Rush

How have the words and deeds of people and institutions shape democracy in the US? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction, primary source analysis, a paragraph outline, and work with writing components such as thesis developments and evidence selection. Download Yes 4.3
4th

Bear Flag Revolt

Describe the main events of the Bear Flag Revolt. This lesson includes expository text summary and chronology/sequence analysis. Download Yes 4.3
4th

Railroads

How did railroads affect California’s economy in the late 1880s? This lesson includes political cartoon analysis, the cause and effect chart, and a scaffolded paragraph. Download Yes 4.4
4th

Confluence of People and Water in CA History - Museum Activity 

How has our concept of water use changed over time? This curricular tool is aligned to the Oakland Museum of California Natural Sciences and History collections. This is designed to be printed as a booklet. Download No 4.4
4th

Agriculture

How did this part of California- the dry, desert- become as agricultural area? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction, visual source analysis, various paragraph outlines, working with writing components like thesis and evidence selection. Download No 4.4
4th

Environmental Impact of the Gold Rush 

How did miners and mining change the environment of California? This lesson includes close reading strategies like sentence deconstruction, and a chronological order writing sheet. Download Yes 4.4
5th

New France

Why did the French claim land in North America? Download No 5.2
5th

Christopher Columbus through Primary Sources

What was Columbus’s attitude toward the native people of the islands and how did this affect his treatment of them? This lesson includes primary source, evidence analysis, and a writing frame. Download Yes 5.2
5th

Columbus and Native Peoples

What was Columbus’s attitude toward the native people of the islands and how did this affect his treatment of them? This lesson includes primary source, evidence analysis, and a writing frame. Download Yes 5.3
5th

The Iroquois League

Why did the Five Nations choose to come together to form the Iroquois League? Download Yes 5.3
5th

Proclamation of 1763

What was the purpose of the Proclamation of 1763, and how did the colonists respond? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction instruction and a cause and effect chart. Download Yes 5.3
5th

Cultures Meet

How did the Spanish and indigenous people in the Americas view each other upon their first meeting? This lesson focuses on primary source analysis, point of view study, and sentence deconstruction techniques, as well as multi-paragraph essays. Download 5.3
5th

Rich Farmlands of the Middle Colonies

Why did settlers come to the Middle Colonies? Download No 5.4
5th

Slavery and Society

What effects did slavery have upon enslaved people? Download No 5.4
5th

Triangular Trade

How did the thirteen colonies participate in the triangular trade? Download Yes 5.4
5th

Slavery and Society

 

How did laws help institutionalize slavery? What were some ways that African slaves dealt with the hardships of their lives? Download No 5.4
5th

Colonial Participation in Town Meetings

Why was participating in town meetings important to the British colonists? This lesson includes sentence and paragraph deconstruction, key actors and words identification, topic sentence selection, evidence sequencing, and instruction on how to transition from completed charts to paragraphs. Download 5.4
5th

The Tea Act

What was the Tea Act and how did the colonists react to it? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction, noun and verb identification, comprehension sentence completion, final writing prompt of the Tea Act and the colonists' reaction to it. Download 5.5
5th

The Townsend Acts and the Rise of Homespun

How was consumption and production a response to the Townsend Acts? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction instruction, close reading of primary sources, use of key words, and paragraph writing in response to a selected writing prompt. Download Yes 5.5
5th

American Revolution

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? This lesson includes passage organization to examine cause and effect, an analysis of British policies chart, a scaffolded paragraph, evidence and analysis to support claims, and instruction on writing a 5-paragraph essay from an outline. Download No 5.5
5th

Using Debate to Teach the Causes of the American Revolution.

What were the political and economic causes of the American Revolution? Download Yes 5.5
5th

How Tobacco Changed the Virginia Colony

How did tobacco change the Virginia colony? This reading to writing strategy helps students distill a text's argument about how tobacco changed the Virginia colony. Download No 5.5
5th

The Boston Tea Party

What were the results in the colonies of the Tea Act? Download No 5.5
6th

Geography and Structure of Ancient Egypt

What can we learn from Relief from the Tomb of Mentuemhet and the Satire of the Trades about social structure in ancient Egypt? This lesson includes making inferences with evidence, and the analytical paragraph response frame. Download Yes 6.2
6th

Diaspora: Development of Rabbinic Traditions

How did domination by other empires and exile affect the survival of Jewish beliefs and culture? This lesson includes a cause and effect reading strategy, chronology reading strategy, and a scaffolded thesis. Download Yes 6.3
6th

Torah as Artifact

How can examining the Torah as a primary source help us learn about the way the Torah was produced and its teachings? This lesson includes comparison and contrast of two Biblical texts in order to consider each text's message and retelling of a story in chronological order. Download Yes 6.3
6th

Abraham and Moses' Covenant with the Hebrew god 

How do the stories of Abraham and Moses reflect the relationship of the Jews to their God? This lesson includes a structured analytical paragraph and highlighting and annotating strategies to locate evidence. Download Yes 6.3
6th

Observing Artifacts (Ancient Civilizations)

What can we learn by closely examining an ancient artifact? (possible early in the year lesson question) or What can we infer about an artifact based on examination? (possible end of the year lesson question). This lesson includes the observing artifacts analysis chart with written student reflections. Download Yes 6.4
6th

Greek Pottery (Ancient Civilizations)

How do the mythology, literature, and art of the ancient Greeks reflect their beliefs? This lesson includes analyzing art, summarizing the primary source, and the thesis evidence paragraph frame. Download Yes 6.4
6th

Struggles for Justice: Love, War, and Honor in Ancient Greece

What does the Iliad reveal about ancient Greek beliefs concerning war, love, and honor? This lesson, designed for the Struggles for Justice 2015 institute, using textual analysis of the Illiad and writing frames. Download Yes 6.4
6th

Governing Empires: The Roman and Han Empires

Compares how the Roman and Han Empires governed their territories. How do the different forms of government that emerged to administer their vast territories reflect the Roman and Han Empires' history and culture? The Han and Roman Empires rose to power between the 2nd and 1st centuries BCE and ultimately governed half the world’s population. While both empires covered vast territories and required effective administration to maintain government control, the degree to which power was concentrated in the central government differed, as did the extent to which the central government involved itself in local government. Download Yes 6.7
7th

Gempei War in Medieval Japan

How does the Tale of Heike reflect the values of Bushido? This lesson includes chronological passage organization, primary source analysis, and paragraph frames. Download Yes 7.5
7th

Buddhism in Medieval Japan

How did contact with Korea influence Japanese religion? This lesson includes the primary source analysis chart, main ideas and highlighting, and a framed paragraph. Download Yes 7.5
7th

Samurai in Medieval Japan

What role did samurai have in Medieval Japanese society? This lesson includes primary source analysis chart, cause and effect chart, video viewing guide, and paragraph frames. Download Yes 7.5
8th

How do you look at art to discover its meaning?

How do you look at art to discover its meaning? Download Yes
8th

US Land Acquisition in California 

How did the land grant court cases of the 1840s and 1850s violate the Californios’ rights gained under the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo? Download Yes
8th

Geography and Colonial America

How was the geography of Colonial America described by early settlers? This lesson includes sentence level deconstruction, EAR analysis, and paragraph analysis. Download Yes 8.1
8th

Creating a Nation - The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution

How did Thomas Jefferson state in the Declaration of Independence that the colonies had the right to break away from King George III? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction, use of the "Keep it or Junk it" analysis technique, basic paragraph outline, and summative paragraphs construction. Download Yes 8.1
8th

Boston Massacre

How did the Patriots use propaganda to turn the killings on King Street in Boston on March 5, 1770 into the Boston Massacre? This lesson includes art analysis, sentence deconstruction, a cause and effect chart, a paragraph frame and instruction on selecting evidence. Download Yes 8.1
8th

Articles of Confederation

Did the Articles of Confederation succeed or fail to create a good national government? This lesson includes sentence deconstruction and a graphic organizer, as well as a structured summary paragraph with a thesis statement and analysis. Download Yes 8.1
8th
Colonial America & Indentured Servitude
 
 
 
 
What role did indentured servants play in the development of the English colonies in America? Download Yes 8.1

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