4th graders act as docents showing the culmination of a 6-8 week unit on California. The 4th grade students learn about key aspects of California History. Students explain the economic, social, and political life in California from the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic through the Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush, and the granting of statehood. By the end of the unit students are able to Identify the locations of Mexican settlements in California and those of other settlements, including Fort Ross and Sutter’s Fort. Students are able to compare how and why people traveled to California and the routes they traveled (e.g., James Beckwourth, John Bidwell, John C. Fremont, Pio Pico). Students analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment (e.g., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp). Students study the lives of women who helped build early California (e.g., Biddy Mason). Students are able to confidently discuss how California became a state and how its new government differed from those during the Spanish and Mexican periods.