California Landmark Project
The Golden State is a remarkable state with some amazing and significant historical sites. This project will have you becoming an expert on one historical site in California, and you will be sharing your expertise with your class.
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to expose students to California Historical Sites.
- Visit a California Historical Landmark
- BEFORE visit, you must conduct research about your site, and prepare the cue cards that you will read when you do your video. Someone will videotape you and someone needs to hold your cards behind the camera for you to read.
- After your visit, create a poster board of your visit including pictures using all the information you gathered.
- Share the video of your visit with you as a tour guide.
- Pick your historical site. Remember you will visit, so be realistic and discuss it with your parents. Use the provided list or visit donaldlaird.com/landmarks This website has historical sites listed by county and there are many right here in Elk Grove and even more in Sacramento. ONLY ONE EXPERT PER SITE! So sign up early for your first choice.
- Visit the site before . DO YOUR RESEARCH! Some sites ONLY have a plaque in a spot and that is all. Other do not allow video from inside (e.g., Crocker Art Museum and Winchester Mystery House). You can still make a video with still shots, or you can film your video with all your information standing in front of the landmark, outside and add your still shots to your video.
- Plan your day to visit by putting it on the calendar. Make sure you look up directions to your site so you know your visit will be achievable. Look at places around it. Plan a day of it.
- Research your site. Take notes and save them to help you with your project. Keep a record of where you found your information for your list of references on the back of your poster.
- What is the site?
- Where is it located?
- Who founded and/or used it?
- When was it first discovered/built?
- Why is it/why was it important to California History?
- Take photos and collect “artifacts” that you can use for your poster. If there is a visitor’s center, you might find a map, a brochure, or informational articles on your site.
- Film a video of you acting as a tour guide around the historical site. Be prepared by making cue cards ahead of time. Someone can hold these for you to read and someone else can video tape. The iMovie app on iPhones and iPads makes this part of the project easy to do! Share you poster after the video plays in class. Either save your video to a flash drive or upload to your school google account.
- Design your poster. Use the thin poster board 28 x 22, so that we can hang it on the wall in the classroom easily. Include the following on your poster:
- Name of site with a picture/photo/graphic of it
- Historical Information on your site
- 5 facts about your site
- California map with the following labeled: Sacramento, your site, 3-5 other cities or landmarks
- Your name and date of visit
- Other photos/artifacts (maps, brochures, informational articles are displayed nicely in paper “pockets” so be creative)
- Reference list glued to the back of your poster
- This project is due on ___________________. Students will present their video and poster over the following days after the due date.
California Historical Landmarks Choice List
The following places will also provide you with a list of California Historical Landmarks, some by county. The list generated below is not an inclusive list. Also try
- Wikipedia—search “California Historical Landmarks” for a list by county
- Google—search “California Historical Landmarks”
- California State Parks website
- donaldlaird.com/landmarks provides a list by county
Sample list of landmarks. If you prefer a local site, use one of the above sites to find a landmark. Pick one from this list or use the above websites to expand the list. There may be no duplicates, so if you have a favorite, select it early! Remember, some sites do not allow video-taping. It is your responsibility to find out that information before you visit so you are prepared.
|Historical Site Name||County|
|Any California mission—21 of them!||Throughout California|
|Marshall Gold Discovery State Park, Coloma||El Dorado|
|Angel Island||Marin/San Francisco|
|Crocker Art Gallery||Sacramento|
|State Capitol (sites of 1st and 2nd in Sacramento)||Sacramento|
|Barbary Coast Trail in San Francisco||San Francisco|
|El Camino Real (As Father Serra knew it)||San Francisco|
|Golden Gate Bridge||San Francisco|
|Golden Gate Park||San Francisco|
|Presidio of San Francisco||San Francisco|
|Telegraph Hill in San Francisco||San Francisco|
|Union Square||San Francisco|
|Lombard Street||San Francisco|
|Winchester Mystery House, San Jose||Santa Clara|
|Benecia Capitol (one of 4 CA Capitol locations)||Solano|
|Site of State Capitol at Vallejo||Solano|
|Bodega Bay and Harbor||Sonoma|
|Jack London State Historic Park||Sonoma|
|Presidio of Sonoma (Sonoma Barracks)||Sonoma|
|Woodland Opera House||Yolo|
|Bok Kai Temple||Yuba|
California Landmark Project Rubric
Landmark (5 points)
Where is it located? (5 points)
When was it first discovered or built? (5 points)
Why was it discovered or built? (5 points)
Who founded and/or used it? (5 points)
Why is the landmark important to California History? (10 points)
Historical information (what life was like/who lived there/significance/what happened
there/is it still standing/is it in ruins, etc. Information varies based on site.) (10 points)
on poster or video
Landmark Name (5 points)
5 interesting facts on poster or video (5 points)
California map with the following labeled: Sacramento, your site, 3-5 other cities or
landmarks near your landmark (5 points)
Your name/date of visit (5 points)
Pockets containing maps/brochures/informational articles (5 points)
A variety of photos of you at/around landmark (10 points)
______ A typed reference list is attached to the back of your poster (websites or books you used for information) (5 points)