Grade 4

We've found books, videos, and software that you can use to supplement every unit in your textbook and to serve as resources for student research.

Unit 1 Unit 2 Unit 3 Unit 4 Unit 5

Unit 1: People and Place



California Here We Come
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Charlesbridge, 1996 (32p)
In this easy-to-read book, Carmen points out interesting facts about the recreation, history, culture, and geography of California. Available in Spanish as ¡California, aquí vamos!

The Chumash Indians
by Bill Lund
Capstone, 1998 (24p)
Maps and color photography help explain how Indians of the past lived. See also The Pomo Indiansby the same author.

The Worry Stone
by Marianna Dengler
Northland, 1996 (40p)
This original folktale, story of friendship between an old woman and a young boy, pays homage to the Chumash Indians, first people of California's Ojai Valley.

Moon and Otter and Frog
by Laura Simms
Hyperion, 1995 (32p)
The author retells the Modoc legend of how Moon picked the ugliest but kindest of the frog women to be his bride.

The Rainbow Bridge: Inspired by a Chumash Tale
by Audrey Wood
Harcourt, 1995 (32p)
Wood's story is based on a Chumash legend in which Hutash the earth goddess turns people into dolphins to save them from drowning when they flee the overcrowded island of Limuw.


Death Trap: The Story of the La Brea Tar Pits
by Sharon Elaine Thompson
Lerner, 1994 (72p)
With photos, diagrams, and charts, the author tells the story of the Rancho La Brea fossils from the Ice Age.

Death Valley National Park
by David Peterson
Childrens, 1996 (48p) also paper
The reader gets a close-up view of hot, dry Death Valley, a national park only since 1994.

Yosemite National Park
by David Peterson
Childrens, 1993 (48p) paper
The author offers a breathtaking look at Yosemite, seen by the naturalist John Muir, who urged Congress to make it a national park.

Two Bear Cubs: A Miwok Legend from California's Yosemite Valley
by Robert San Souci
Yosemite Assn., 1998 (48p)
When the rock now known as El Capitan begins to grow, two bear cubs are trapped until a tiny inch worm comes to the rescue.

Giant Sequoia Trees
by Ginger Wadsworth
Lerner, 1995 (48p)
This photo-essay showcases the giant redwoods, thousands of years old, found in the Sierra Nevada.

Lord of the Animals: A Miwok Indian Creation Myth
by Fiona French
Millbrook, 1997 (32p)
Coyote finds a clever way to make sure that it is he who eventually becomes Lord of the Animals.

The Bone Man: A Native American Modoc Tale
by Laura Simms
Hyperion, 1997 (32p)
Young Nulwee's grandmother tells him he is destined to grow up and defeat Kokolimalyas, the terrifying Bone Man.

Death Valley
by Jason Cooper
Rourke, 1995 (24p)
The author discusses this natural wonder and the kinds of plants and animals that survive there.

by Linda Jacobs Altman
Cavendish, 1997
Part of the Celebrate the States series, this book offers an overview of California's history, geography, landmarks, and people.


John Muir: Wilderness Protector
by Ginger Wadsworth
Lerner, 1992 (144p)
This author's account of the life of Muir includes some of his own words.

Whispers From the First Californians: A Story of California's First People
by Gail Faber and Michele Lasagna
Magpie,1994 (268p)
This collection contains creation legends, stories about the everyday lives of California's early Indians, and their beliefs and customs.


The People Shall Continue
by Simon Ortiz
Children's Book Press, 1988 (24p) also paper
Ortiz offers a history of the Native American people, from creation myths to the usurpation of their lands.

Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children
by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac
Fulcrum, 1988 (234p) also paper
This collection of Native American stories includes numerous activities for children.

Back in the Beforetime: Tales of the California Indians
by Jane L. Curry
McElderry, 1987 (144p)
This collection contains the retellings of twenty-two legends about the earth's creation from many of California's Indians.


Lasting Echoes: An Oral History of Native American People
by Joseph Bruchac
Harcourt, 1997 (176p)
Often using the words of Native Americans, Bruchac tells the rich and complex history of the nation's First People.

The Dawn of the World: Myths and Tales of the Miwok Indians of California
edited by C. Hart Merriam
U. of Nebraska, 1993 (273p)
This vast collection contains creation myths, accounts of the First People, and tales about animals, ghosts, and natural phenonema.



Geography of the U.S.A. 19 min.
Rainbow Educational Media, 1992

Geography: Five Themes for Planet Earth 21 min.
National Geographic, 1992

The Pacific Edge 20 min.
National Geographic, 1989

Indians of California 23 min.
Barr Films, 1991

Native Americans: People of the Northwest Coast 23 min.
Rainbow Educational Media, 1994


Picture Atlas of the World (CD-ROM)
National Geographic, 1995

An Odyssey of Discovery ™: Geography of Earth (CD-ROM)
Pierian Spring, 1998

An Odyssey of Discovery ™: Mapping Concepts (CD-ROM)
Pierian Spring, 1998

500 Nations (CD-ROM)
Microsoft, 1995

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Unit 2: Colonial California



A Mission for the People: The Story of La Purisima
by Mary Ann Fraser
Holt, 1998 (38p)
The establishment in 1787 of the mission called La Purisima in the Santa Barbara area of California changed the lives of the Chumash forever.

To Fly with the Swallows
by Dana De Ruiz and Debbie Heller
Raintree, 1993 (53p)
This is a biography of Maria de Arguello y Morago, who became California's first native-born nun and whose life spanned the period from Spanish rule to American statehood.


Missions of the Inland Valleys
by Pauline Brower
Lerner, 1996 (80p)
The author explores the San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, San Miguel Arcángel, San Antonio de Padua, and Nuestra Señora de la Soledad missions.

Missions of the Monterey Bay Area
by Emily Abbink
Lerner, 1996 (80p)
Focuses on the San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo, San Juan Bautista, and Santa Cruz missions.

Missions of the Central Coast
by June Behrens
Lerner, 1996 (80p)
Explores the missions of Santa Bárbara, Santa Inés, and La Purísima Concepción.

Missions of the Southern Coast
by Nancy Lenke
Lerner, 1996 (80p)
Explores the San Diego de Alcalá, San Luis Rey de Francia, and San Juan Capistrano missions.

Missions of the San Francisco Bay Area
by Tekla N. White
Lerner, 1996 (80p)
Focuses on the Santa Clara de Asís, San José de Guadalupe, San Francisco de Asís, San Rafael Arcángel, and San Francisco Solano missions.

Missions of the Los Angeles Area
by Dianne MacMillan
Lerner (80p)
Focuses on the missions San Gabriel Arcángel, San Fernando Rey de España, and San Buenaventura.

Projects and Layouts
by Libby Nelson with Kari A. Cornell
Lerner, 1997 (104p)
From this final book in the California Missions series, students learn how to build a mission model.


The California Missions
by Elizabeth Van Steenwyck
Watts, 1998 (64p)
The author provides an overview of the missions established in California between the years 1769 and 1823.

by Scott O'Dell
Houghton Mifflin, 1977 (176p)
This account is based on the true story of Luisa Montero, a young girl who participates in the battle of San Pasqual.


Island of the Blue Dolphins
by Scott O'Dell
Houghton Mifflin, 1960 (192p) also paper
In this award-winning novel, the Indian girl Karana is left alone on an island for ten years. Available in Spanish as Isla de los delfines azules.

by Scott O'Dell
Houghton Mifflin, 1976 (179p)
In the sequel to Island of the Blue Dolphins,Zia makes her home at the Califonia Mission of Santa Barbara, but longs to see her Aunt Karana. Available in Spanish as Zia.


Father Junípero Serra: Founder of California Missions
by Donna Genet
Enslow, 1996 (128p)
Genet explores the life and contributions of one of the most influential people in California's early history.

Indians, Franciscans, and Spanish Colonization: The Impact of the Mission System on California Indians
by Robert H. Jackson
U. of New Mexico, 1995 (214p)
The author examines the historical ramifications of the Alta California Missions.

Thrown Among Strangers, The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California
by Douglas Monroy
U. of California Press, 1990
Part One discusses first contacts between California Indians and the Spanish. The author describes two different world views of the cultures.



Mission Carmel 14 min.
Missions of California Series
Chip Taylor Communications, 1992

Father Junípero Serra 14 min.
Missions of California Series
Chip Taylor Communications, 1992

Class project: The Making of a Mission 10 min.
Missions of California Series
Chip Taylor Communications, 1989

Mexican and Mexican American Heroes 16 min.
Our Hispanic Heritage Series Society for Visual Education, 1992


Geography Search (Floppy Disk)
Tom Snyder Productions, 1993

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Unit 3: Newcomers Change California



Chang's Paper Pony
by Eleanor Coerr
Harper, 1993 (64p) paper
More than anything, Chang, who pans gold with his grandfather, wants a real pony, instead of the drawing he carries with him.

Pony Express!
by Steven Kroll
Scholastic, 1996 (40p)
With the discovery of gold in California, William Russell created the Pony Express to bring mail from home to the thousands who flocked west in search of gold.

Nine for California
by Sonia Levitan
Orchard, 1996 (32p)
In this amusing story, Amanda finds that whenever she gets bored on the long stagecoach trip, something interesting always happens.

Boom Town
by Sonia Levitin
Orchard, 1998 (32p)
In this sequel to Nine for California,Amanda and her family join Pa in California, and Amanda starts her own pie-baking business.

Wagon Train: A Family Goes West in 1865
by Courtni C. Wright
Holiday, 1995 (32p)
An African American family's journey from Virginia to California is related by daughter Ginny.


Gold Fever
by Catherine McMorrow
Random House, 1996
The author describes the gold fever that gripped the country after gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill.

Treasure in the Stream: The Story of a Gold Rush Girl
by Dorothy Hoobler and Thomas Hoobler
Silver, 1993 (64p)
Life for ten-year-old Amy and her family changes forever when gold is discovered on Mr. Sutter's property.

Dame Shirley and the Gold Rush
by James Rawls and John Holder
Raintree, 1992 (56p)
Letters by a woman named Dame Shirley were said to be responsible for starting the California gold rush.

The California Gold Rush: West with the Forty-Niners
by Elizabeth Van Steenwyck
Watts, 1991 (64p)
The author tell what life was like for the miners during and after the gold rush of 1849.

Everyone Wears His Name: A Biography of Levi Strauss
by Sondra Henry and Emily Taitz
Dillon, 1990
This story tells how Levi Strauss, an 18-year-old immigrant peddler, became the founder of a blue jeans empire.


California Indians and the Gold Rush
by Clifford E. Trafzer
Sierra Oaks Publishing Company, 1989
Historian tells the gold rush story from the Indian point of view and reviews their role in the discovery of gold.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple
by Karen Cushman
Clarion, 1996 (208p)
When her mother moves the family to a California mining town, Lucy is miserable and tries to find comfort in letters and books while planning how to get back home to Massachusetts.

The Gold Rush
by Liza Ketchum
Little, 1996 (118p)
The author discusses the effects of the gold rush on the people who flocked to California and on the Spanish settlers and Native Americans who lived there.

Sarah Royce and the American West
edited by Jane Shuter
Raintree, 1996 (48p)
Based on Sarah Royce's autobiography A Frontier Lady,this book looks at the gold rush days and the life the Royce family faced in California.

The Gold Rush of 1849: Staking a Claim in California
by Arthur Blake and Pamela Dailey
Millbrook, 1995
The authors explore the early days of the gold rush — how it started, who came running, and how they set up rules and regulations.

Riding Freedom
by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Scholastic, 1998 (144p)
Charlotte "Charley" Parkhurst posed as a man and became the first woman to vote in California.


By the Great Horn Spoon!
by Sid Fleischman
Little, 1963 paper
Jack Flagg and his butler Praiseworthy leave Boston to mine for gold in California and share numerous humerous adventures.

Mr. Mysterious and Company
by Sid Fleischman
Greenwillow, 1997 (160p) paper
Mr. Mysterious and his family travel by covered wagon to California, performing magic acts in towns along the way. Available in Spanish as Mr. Misterio y cija.

From Sea to Shining Sea: A Treasury of American Folklore and Folk Songs
edited by Amy Cohn
Scholastic, 1993
This excellent collection contains over 120 poems, songs, stories, and tales about the history of America, all handsomely illustrated by award-winning artists.


Digger: The Tragic Fate of the California Indians from the Missions to the Gold Rush
by Jerry Stanley
Crown, 1997
Stanley looks at how the lives of the Native Americans of California were adversely affected from 1769 through the Gold Rush.

Days of Gold: The California Gold Rush and the American Nation
by Malcolm J. Rohrbough
U. of California, 1997 (448p)
The author explains why James Marshall's discovery of gold in 1848 was the most significant event in the first half of the nineteenth century.

Thrown Among Strangers, The Making of Mexican Culture in Frontier California
by Douglas Monroy
U. of California Press, 1990
Part One discusses first contacts between California Indians and Spanish. The Author describes two different world views of the cultures.



Gold Rush and the Settlement of California 16 min.
Settlement of the United States Series
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1990

Westward Expansion: The Pioneer Challenge 18 min.
Rainbow Educational Media, 1992

Everyone Helps in a Community 17 min.
Churchill Media, 1991

Heritage of the Black West 25 min.
National Geographic, 1995


The Oregon Trail (CD-ROM)
The Learning Company, 1992

Writing Along the Oregon Trail (Floppy Disk)
The Learning Company, 1994

The Yukon Trail (CD-ROM)
The Learning Company, 1994

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Unit 4: Growth and Development



The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express
by Andrew Glass
Delacorte, 1996 (48p)
In 1861, fourteen-year-old Will Cody carries the news that Abraham Lincoln has been elected President.

The Transcontinental Railroad
by Peter Anderson
Childrens, 1996 (32p)
Anderson outlines the history of the efforts of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroad companies to build a railroad spanning the continent.

Ten Mile Day: The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad
by Mary A. Fraser
Holt, 1993 (40p)
On Ten Mile Day, Charles Crocker wagered $10,000 that the crews of the Central Pacific could lay ten miles of track in a single day.


The Pony Express in American History
by Sue Hurwitz
Enslow, 1998
The daring riders for the Pony Express risked their lives to deliver the mail.

The Transcontinental Railroad: Triumph of a Dream
by Dan Elish
Millbrook (64p) paper
The author recounts the many obstacles facing all those involved in the building of the railroad that crossed the country.

Chinese Railroad Workers
by Susan Sinnott
Watts, 1994 (64p)
Chinese immigrants, vital to the completion of the transcontinental railroad, experienced discrimination and extremely harsh working conditions.

The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps
by Stephen Krensky
Yearling, 1995 (96p)
Ten-year-old Winnie and her new Chinese friend Lee Cheng see tensions rise when Chinese immigrant laborers strike for better working conditions during the construction of the transcontinental railroad.

That Julia Redfern
by Eleanor Cameron
Dutton, 1982
This story relates the adventures of an imaginative girl in San Francisco during World War I.


Full Steam Ahead: The Race to Build the Transcontinental Railroad
by Rhoda Blumberg
National Geo., 1996 (160p)
The author provides a thorough look at the building of the transcontinental railroad: the reasons for it, the competition between the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, and the dangers and difficulties surrounding the railroad's completion.

Shannon A Chinatown Adventure: San Francisco 1880
by Kathleen Kudlinski
Aladdin, 1996 (72p) paper
Shannon, an Irish immigrant new to San Francisco, meets Mi Ling, a frightened Chinese girl whom she befriends and helps out of a difficult situation.

Shannon The Schoolmarm Mysteries: San Francisco, 1880
by Kathleen Kudlinski
Aladdin, 1997 (72p) paper
In this next book in the series, Shannon worries about what may have happened to her kind teacher and wonders why her friend Mi Ling can't attend school with her.


Ishi's Tale of Lizard
translated by Leanne Hinton
Farrar, 1995 (32p) paper
When Ishi, the last of California's Yahi Indians, came out of hiding in 1911, he told this story that he had heard as a young boy.

Tales from Gold Mountain: Stories of the Chinese in the New World
by Paul Yee
Macmillan, 1990 (64p)
These eight original stories are based on the experiences of Chinese who emigrated to the United States and Canada.


Inventing the Dream: California Through the Progressive Era
by Kevin Starr
Oxford U., 1986 paper
Starr focuses on the culture, reform, industry, and government of California in the turn-of-the-century years.

Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America
by Theodora Kroeder
U. of California, 1988
The author relates the story of Ishi, the last of California's Yahi Indians, who came out of hiding in 1911.



America's Transcontinental Railroad 27 min.
Barr Films, 1994

Island of the Secret Memories 20 min.
Travels to the Past Series
California Historical Society, 1989


History Makers (Floppy Disk)
The Learning Company, 1992

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Unit 5: Modern California



Francis, The Earthquake Dog
by Judith Ross Enderle
Chronicle, 1996 (34p)
This story, set in 1906, tells of a young boy who rescues a stray dog, loses him in the St. Francis Hotel, and eventally finds him in the rubble following the earthquake.

The Bracelet
by Yoshiko Uchida
Philomel, 1993 (32p) also paper
When she and her family are sent to a Japanese internment camp, Emi receives a special present from her friend.

Humphrey the Lost Whale
by Wendy Tokuda and Richard Hall
Heian, 1992 (32p) paper
A rescue effort is launched to save a whale that swims into San Francisco Bay and up the Sacramento River.

Tonio's Cat
by Mary Calhoun
Morrow, 1996 (32p)
When he moves from Mexico to California, Tonio must leave his dog behind, but soon he makes friends with a streetwise cat.

Amelia's Road
by Linda Jacobs Altman
Lee & Low, 1993 (32p)
Amelia, who must travel with her migrant-worker parents, longs for a home with a yard and trees. Available in Spanish as El camino de Amelia.

The City By the Bay: A Magical Journey Around San Francisco
by Trisha Brown
Chronicle, 1993 (32p)
The author visits all of San Francisco's wonderful landmarks. Also available in Japanese.

Going to the Getty: A Book About the Getty Center in Los Angeles
by Vivian Walsh
J. Paul Getty Museum Pub., 1997 (32p)
This book introduces young readers to the museums and gardens of the Getty Center.


California: From Sea to Shining Sea
by Dennis Fradin
Childrens, 1992 (48p)
Fradin introduces the Golden State, the nation's most populated and our top farming and manufacturing state. Available in Spanish as California: De mar a mar.

Grandfather's Journey
by Allen Say
Houghton Mifflin, 1993 (32p)
Like his grandfather before him, Say feels cross-cultural ties to both his native Japan and his adopted California.

I Am Lavina Cumming
by Susal Lowell
Milkweed, 1993 also paper
After her mother's death, Lavina moves from Arizona to California and survives the 1906 earthquake.

The Wonderful Towers of Watts
by Patricia Zelver
Morrow, 1994 (32p) also paper
In over thirty years, Simon Rodia built three towering monuments in the middle of his Los Angeles neighborhood.

Tikvah Means Hope
by Patricia Polacco
Doubleday, 1994 (48p)
When fire destroys the home of a Jewish family and their neighbors, they all regard Tikvah, a cat who survived the fire, as a symbol of hope.

The Skirt
by Gary Soto
Dell, 1994 (80p) paper
Miata, planning to wear her mother's beautiful folklorica skirt in a dance, is horrified to discover she left it on the school bus.

Weaving a California Tradition: A Native American Basketmaker
by Linda Yamane
Lerner, 1997 (48p) also paper
Carly Tex, a Mono Indian from Dunlap, California, gathers redbud and sedge and learns to weave baskets in her family's tradition.

Dan Thuy's New Life in America
by Karen O'Connor
Lerner, 1992 (40p)
This photo essay chronicles the lives of Dan Thuy and her family on their journey from Vietnam to a refugee camp in Thailand, and then to their new home in San Diego.

Los Angeles Quake: 1994
by Rich Smith
Abdo & Daughters, 1994 (32p)
Part of the Day of the Disaster series, this book looks at the aftermath of the earthquake that struck Los Angeles in 1994.


Earthquake: San Francisco, 1906
by Kathleen Duey, et al
Aladdin, 1998 (160p)
An orphaned Irish boy and a young Chinese immigrant girl become friends as they struggle to survive the earthquake of 1906.

Earthquake at Dawn
by Kristiana Gregory
Gary Dean Gullickson Pub., 1994
The letter by survivor Mary Exa Atkins Campbell and the photos by Edith Irvine form the basis of this story about the 1906 earthquake as experienced by fifteen-year-old Daisy.

Eight Mules From Monterey
by Patricia Beatty
Beech Tree, 1993 (192p)
When Fayette and her brother accompany their mother as she tries to establish libraries in the rugged area around Monterey in 1916, they find themselves in many zany situations.

Smoky Night
by Eve Bunting
Harcourt, 1994 (32p)
Daniel and his mother are forced to flee their apartment for safety after a night of rioting in Los Angeles.

Summer on Wheels
by Gary Soto
Scholastic, 1995 (160p)
Hector and Mando have wonderful adventures on a six-day bike journey from East Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

The Microchip Revolution
by David J. Darling
Dillon, 1986
Dillon gives a brief but clear history of the development of the computer, concentrating on the microchip.


Neighborhood Odes
by Gary Soto
Harcourt, 1992 (80p) also paper
Soto's collection of odes reflects growing up Latino in Fresno, California.

The Case of the Goblin Pearls
by Laurence Yep
Harper, 1997 (179p)
In San Francisco's Chinatown, Lilly and her famous aunt, the actress Tiger Lil, team up to find out who stole the priceless pearls that Tiger Lil was to wear in a parade.


The California Water Story
The Water Education Foundation
717 K Street, Suite 517
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 444-6240
A multidisciplinary lesson packet with map, lesson plan, booklet, video, poster and teacher background material.

Endangered Dreams: The Great Depression in California
by Kevin Starr
Oxford U., 1996
In his fourth volume on the history of the state, Starr looks at the effects the Great Depression on California.



How Our Laws Are Made 21 min.
My America Series
Sunburst Communications, 1994

Rights and Responsibilities 17 min.
My America Series
Sunburst Communications, 1994

Becoming an Active Citizen 16 min.
My America Series
Sunburst Communications, 1994

Neighborhood and Community 20 min.
My America Series
Sunburst Communications, 1994

Black Is My Color: The African American Experience 15 min.
Rainbow Educational Media, 1992

Stories of Invention and Ingenuity, Vol. I and Vol. II 30 min. each
American Discovery Series
Sunburst Communications, 1995

A Popular Little Planet 30 min.
3-2-1 Contact Extra ™ Series
Wings for Learning, 1992

Get Busy: How Kids Can Save the Planet 30 min.
3-2-1 Contact Extra ™ Series
Wings for Learning, 1992


Hydroexplorer — A California Waterway Adventure, (CD-ROM)
California Water Education Foundation, 1994

Cities Below — The Aerial and Street Atlas of America, (CD-ROM)
Now What Software, 1993

Crosscountry California, Floppy Disk
VR Didatech Software, 1991

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