Traveling Through California's History
A WebQuest for 4th Grade (Social Studies)
Designed by Group 8Jessica Hawkins, Roxanne Trieu, Anjali Kumar, Christine Sullivan

external image california_clipper_ship_historical_repro_poster-p228014053278520040t5ta_400.jpg

You are an employee for a time traveling agency and you are running a special on historical events in California.
You are to research and inform your customers about one of the special events listed below:

- Gold Rush
- Missions Period
- US Mexico War
- Central Pacific Railroad

The Task

In your groups, you will be researching about a historical event in California. You will be creating and presenting a PowerPoint to persuade potential clients to choose your travel event package. The events you can choose from are:

- Missions Period (1769-1823)
- Mexican American War (1846-1848)
- Gold Rush (1848-1865)
- Central Pacific Railroad (1863-1869)

The Process

Step 1:
As a group of 4, you will pick a historical event in California from the list below:

- Missions Period (1769-1823)
- Mexican American War (1846-1848)
- Gold Rush (1848-1865)
- Central Pacific Railroad (1863-1869)

Step 2:
Using the links available, research your historical, taking notes on the following:
  • Illustrations of the time period (with captions)
  • What provoked the event to happen (How did it emerge?)
  • Importance of the event
    • How did it influence/shape California history?
    • Who was affected by the event?
  • Daily life/Quality of life during the time period
    • Examples:
      • Style of dress
      • Jobs/Occupations
      • Available resources
      • Diet
  • Influential Leaders of the time

Step 3:
Create your PowerPoint using the information you have gathered from these sites:

- Missions Period (1769-1823)

- Mexican American War (1846-1848)

- Gold Rush (1848-1865)

- Central Pacific Railroad (1863-1869) about/college/ids100/history. shtml html museums/americanwest/western_ clubs/central_pacific_ railroad/central_pacific_ railroad.html q=central+pacific+railroad+ history&hl=en&safe=off&tbs=tl: 1&tbo=u&ei= l6aySp6sEJTKsQOD7qieDQ&sa=X& oi=timeline_result&ct=title& resnum=11

Step 4:
Present to the class your sales pitch of your historical event.


Your group will be graded as a whole for the information gathered for your presentation (40 points). You will also be evaluated individually based on how you worked within the group and your contribution based on group evaluations (10 points). There will be a total of 50 points.

Below Basic
Speaks Clearly
Could be heard clearly from the back of the classroom.
Needed to be reminded to speak loudly and clearly
Mumbled or spoke too softly for the audience to hear
Mumbled, spoke softly, and did not face the audience
Collaboration with Peers
Worked well as a group. Each member had a chance to contribute and felt comfortable working as a team.
Some members contributed more than others, and some members did not get a chance to share their ideas.
Needed assistance from the teacher picking a topic and making final group decisions.
Fought frequently, group members were disrespectful and unwilling to work together.
Facts were accurate. Provided all the information asked for and remembered all the information for presentation.
One or two facts were slightly incorrect or missing additional information. Yet the group comprehended a vast amount of information.
Three or more facts were incorrect. Teacher had to correct information during the presentation.
Was missing important facts and information was presented in a vague or confusing manner. Had to stop and ask the teacher for help.
Evaluates Peers
The group members felt you contributed a great deal and would love to work with you again.
Your group enjoyed working with you but wished you had contributed a little more.
Your group was concerned about the amount of effort you put into the project and wished you had participated more.
The teacher had to continuously remind you what was expected of you when working in groups.


By the end of this webquest, you will become a classroom expert on the event that you chose. The class will learn, from your presentation, about
the economics, social, and political life in California during these historical eras. They will also learn how California because an agricultural and industrial power.

Credits & References

Our webquest was adopted from:
Image from:
Rubric created from:

Thanks to the websites for providing the information on the topics above.