Fourth Graders have traditionally done a California State Report each year. The California Travel Journal is a 37 page unit and is a similar project with a unique spin. Students learn about the state by planning an imaginary trip and creating a travel journal (a diary of sorts) by researching the following destinations:
• 1 National Park
• 1 State Park
• 1 Mission
• 1 Major City
• 1 Gold Rush Town
• 1 Tourist Attraction
The California Travel Journal has a map activity as well. Not only do students locate and color-in the four regions of California, but they are also asked to find major cities, rivers, mountains and deserts.
This unit includes:
Detailed Teacher Notes
A California Travel Journal Sample
Project Directions Handouts (and editable copies)
Map Directions Handout
Pacing Guide with Due Dates (and an editable copy)
Rough Draft of Map
Research Outline Note-taking Pages
Rough Draft of Bibliography Page
Final Copy of California Map
Final Copy of Bibliography Page
Student Checklist Forms to be Used on Due Dates
Rubric (and an editable copy)
Oral Presentation Guidelines Handout (and an editable copy)
The California Travel Journal is a motivating unit, partly because a great deal of it is student selected. Several of my students each year end up taking the actual trip with their family!
I really enjoy teaching this unit and think it's fun for myself as well as the kids.
If you’d like to see more 4th grade social studies activities, please check these out:
4th Grade California Missions Project
Native American Report
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Thanks so much!
The Teacher Next Door