About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration files, "Walnut Grove Japanese-American Historic District," "Walnut Grove Chinese-American Historic District," "Walnut Grove Commercial/Residential Historic District," and "Locke Historic District" (with photographs). It was written by Rita G. Koman, an education consultant. The lesson was edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff.
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 immigration or on multiculturalism in America. The lesson also could be used to enhance the study of Asian American history.
Time period: Late 19th century to early 20th 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 explain the contribution of early Asian immigrants to the development of California's agricultural industries.
2) To identify and describe the obstacles encountered by Asian cultural groups as they struggled to make a living and find a place in American society.
3) To describe life in Walnut Grove and Locke during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
4) To analyze the condition and status of early Asian immigrants using visual evidence.
5) To locate and learn about ethnic enclaves that made contributions to the history of the student's own community.
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, high-resolution version.
1) two maps of California and the Delta region;
2) three readings about the Chinese and Japanese immigrants and their lives in Locke and Walnut Grove;
3) five photographs and a drawing of Locke and Walnut Grove.
Visiting the sites
Walnut Grove is located nearly midway between Sacramento and Stockton on California Highway 160. Locke is located one mile north of Walnut Grove. From San Francisco, take Interstate 80 to State Route 12 which intersects with Highway 160. From Sacramento, take Highway 160 south. The historic sections of town can be seen on foot or by car. Only businesses are open to the public. Throughout this area, farmlands growing fruit and vegetables sprawl along the roadsides in all directions. For more information, visit the Web pages of Locke [http://www.locketown.com] and Walnut Grove [http://www.walnutgrove.com].