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Teaching California

Funded by a grant from the California State Department of Education, the California Historical Society worked with the California History-Social Science Project to create Teaching California, an innovative, free, online resource of instructional materials to support the implementation of California’s History-Social Science Framework. Made for teachers in classrooms across the state, this program is designed to improve student reading, writing, and critical thinking, while inspiring them to discover and engage with California’s complex histories. 

Teaching California was designed to provide K-12 educators with engaging and relevant primary sources, organized to specifically (and easily) address the inquiry-based instructional model the History-Social Science Framework outlines. These primary sources are organized as Inquiry Sets, each of which collects classroom-ready sources, historical background, as well as teacher and student source notes to address specific investigative questions from the History-Social Science Framework.  

These inquiry sets collected here have been developed by California Revealed to mirror and supplement existing Teaching California Inquiry Sets. With ongoing support from the California State Library, California Revealed partners with hundreds of libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, and other memory organizations across the state to provide free digital preservation and online access services for primary source materials documenting California history. The resulting collections span diverse formats, regions, time periods, and cultural perspectives. We hope these curated sets will prove valuable to K-12 teachers looking to dive deeper with Teaching California’s classroom-ready Inquiry Sets and more generally to California educators interested in teaching with primary sources. 

These inquiry sets only scratch the surface of the educational possibilities to be found at Because California Revealed represents a multitude of distinct partner organizations, our repository is an excellent resource for California educators looking for a strong local perspective on teaching topics. Our strengths in audiovisual materials and unusual print formats offer a wealth of engaging primary sources to analyze and explore our state’s complex history.  

As California Revealed continues to explore how to meaningfully connect California educators with primary sources that lend immediacy and local relevance to teaching curriculum, we would love to hear from you with any ideas, suggestions, or requests. Please reach out to us and sign up for our seasonal newsletter for more news on educational initiatives: