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Teacher Resources

The Trail to California and The Trail to Utah | Frontier Children

The Trail to California and The Trail to Utah


  • "California as I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900" consists of the full texts and illustrations of 190 works documenting the formative era of California's history through eyewitness accounts. This Library of Congress collection covers the dramatic decades between the Gold Rush and the turn of the twentieth century. It captures the pioneer experience; encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them; the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California's emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams.
  • Travel and Westward Expansion offers travellers’ impressions of the Western territories that were incorporated into the nation during the course of the century. Some of these books offer glimpses—seldom unprejudiced—of the life and struggles and resistance of the native peoples who already inhabited those lands and for whom the American presence was almost invariably a continuing catastrophe. In the same era, the growth of recreational tourism ensured that throughout the nation soldiers, settlers, and railroad crews would soon be followed by growing numbers of curious travellers, eager to trace a national history in the lineaments of the land, discovering for themselves a country that seemed at once both familiar and exotic, ancient and new.

Lesson Plans

  • Pioneers on the Trail from the National Park Service
    Introduction | Grades 1-3 | Grades 4-6 (PDF Format)
    Travel over prairies, across rivers and through mountains in a covered wagon. Learn about the early pioneers who often traveled as many as 2,000 miles to the "promised land" of Oregon and California in search of land or gold.
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition from the National Park Service
    Introduction | Grades 3-5 | Grades 7-8 (PDF Format)
    Travel a wild and uncharted West with the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Learn about the people, animals and lands encountered by these fearless explorers.
  • Curriculum Materials about the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the Louisiana Purchase from the National Park Service

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