Where Were the Serrano?
Teachers Notes

Grade Level/ Unit: Grade 3, Unit 1
Grade 4, Unit 2

History/Social Science Content Standards:

3.1 Students describe the physical and human geography and use maps, tables, graphs, photographs and charts to organize information about people places and environments in a spatial context by:

  1. Identifying geographical features found in their local region (e.g. deserts, mountains, valleys, hills, costal areas, oceans, lakes.)

4.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California by:

  1. The major nations of California Indians, their geographic distribution, economic activities, legends, and religious beliefs; and how they depended upon, adapted to and modified the physical enviornment by cultivation of land and sea resources.

History/Social Science Thinking and Analysis Skills:

Chronological and Spatial Thinking:

1. Students place key events and people of the historical era they are studying both in a chronological sequence and with a spatial context; they interpret timelines.

4. Students use map and globe skills to determine the absolute locations of places and interpret information available through a maps legend, scale, and symbolic representations.

Historical Point of View

2. Students identify the human and physical characteristics of the places they are studying and explain how these features form the unique character of these places.

Lesson Duration: Three hours: One hour a day for three days.

Materials Needed:

  • White Construction paper
  • pencils
  • erasers
  • several detailed maps of California for children to use as reference (to locate cities)
  • printed copies of information found on the internet
  • colored pencils or crayons

Teaching Steps:

Day One: Students will do their preliminary research today. Depending on avaliable resources, all students can conduct research on the Internet at the same time; or some students can use the computer while others use books, and take turns. Students should spend this hour finding adequate maps and information about where the Serrano Indians were located. In addition, students should print out all relevant materials.

Day Two: Students will draw thier map of California Today. This will be a good time to introduce children to basic map skills (if this hasn't allready been covered in class). Students will make the basic California map today, without integrating Serrano information.

Day Three: Today students will use their Internet research to outline the Serrano territory on their maps. Before children begin working on their maps, however, the teacher may wish to discuss the following topics:

  • Physical differences between desert, mountain, and valley (i.e. climate, wildlife, terrain...)
  • How these differences effect the people who live there in terms of food eaten, clothing worn, and tools used. (Excellent opportunity to use the Cultural Landscape, and Cultural Ecology portions of this website)

Instruct students to color the following regions of California with the following colors:

    desert- brown

Instruct students to outline the portions of Southern California that were Serrano territory with a dark colored crayon or pencil.

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