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This writing unit offers a 10-part History of California, covering pre-history to the modern era. At the beginning of each part, students view a PowerPoint featuring the character of Sage Fox, who was there to observe major events in California's history: arrival of the first people, the first European explorers, the arrival of the missionaries, the discovery of gold, and more. After watching the PowerPoint, students write a journal entry (journals are provided in the download), taking on the character of Sage Fox, and reporting on what they saw (vocabulary and "reminder" words and phrases are included at the bottom of each page, along with a blank, captioned picture box). All journal entries are graded on a rubric included on the last page of the journal.
Year after year, this project greatly improved the writing skills of my students. I offered prizes for the top writing score for each journal entry, and a Grand Prize at the end for the student who had accumulated the most points. It was very gratifying to see my students check their rubrics daily to see how they might improve their scores, and to watch the quality of their writing improve daily.
Includes: 104-slide PowerPoint broken into ten sections; ready-to-print 12-page Sage Journal; a document that includes all major illustrations; summary page; and Great Seal of California coloring page.