About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Rancho Los Alamitos," and other source material. It was written by Peter Cheoros, a mentor teacher and history social science department chairperson at Lynwood High School, Lynwood, California. TwHP is sponsored, in part, by the Cultural Resources Training Initiative and Parks as Classrooms programs of the National Park Service. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into the classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson could be used in units on the history of westward movement or multiculturalism in America. Californio to American will help students understand how Americans modified the Californio building style, at the same time adopting aspects of that style and way of life.
Time period: 19th century
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) To describe the history of California prior to 1848 and its early Californio culture.
2) To relate how the Californios were changed by the coming of the Americans.
3) To analyze documents and plans that describe Californio architecture.
4) To explain how the architecture of buildings can reflect basic changes in the way people live.
5) To investigate properties in their own community listed in or potentially eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger, higher quality version.
1) two maps of California;
2) two readings on the history of Rancho Los Alamitos;
3) a site plan of Rancho Los Alamitos;
4) a floor plan of Rancho Los Alamitos showing different construction phases;
5) five photographs of Rancho Los Alamitos.
Visiting the site
Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens is owned by the city of Long Beach and operated by the Rancho Los Alamitos Foundation. It is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday, 1-5 p.m. Admission is free. Located on Bixby Hill Road, the rancho can be reached by exiting the San Diego Freeway at Palo Verde Avenue and turning south on Palo Verde. Enter through residential guard gate at Anaheim and Palo Verde. For more information, contact Rancho Los Alamitos Historic Ranch and Gardens, 6400 Bixby Hill Road, Long Beach, California 90815, or visit their Web site.