My California Now

Learning Tools for Tomorrow's Leaders

Curriculum Guide Overview

Four curriculum units with lesson plans

In-depth units cover important topics, and state and national standards. Each unit contains several individual lesson plans that can be adapted for discussion, research, writing, pair and group work, homework and presentations. Use one or several, they are designed to easily use as handouts.

Key Materials

These wide ranging materials are designed to supplement the lesson plans and help students broaden their understanding and knowledge about the key people, concepts, terms and background of the film. Students may read about the film and review the concepts and Who's Who before or after watching the film. The Viewing Guide and Film Comprehension Questions can be used as a guide or quiz to assess students comprehension. The bibliography provides additional resources, and the standards help teachers identify ways to tie this curriculum into their courses.

  • About the Film
  • About the 86-Minute Version & DVD Chapters
  • About the 56-Minute Version & DVD Chapters
  • About The Short Videos
  • Governor Pat Brown Bio
  • Governor Pat Brown Timeline
  • Who's Who
  • Key Concepts & Terms
  • Film Viewing Questions & Answer Key
  • Comprehension Questions & Answer Keys
  • Bibliography
  • Primary Resources
  • California Standards
  • National Standards

Download Key Materials PDF

Index / Overview & Standards

This is a quick and easy guide to the contents of the various curriculum units. The overview summarizes the activities and lesson plans by unit and the index helps teachers identify the best materials for their classroom by noting content area covered, appropriate grade level, corresponding California and National standards, and indicating type of activity (reading, writing, or group activities.)

Download Index & Overview PDF

Social Studies & History Unit

This Social Studies & History Guide helps students analyze the historical, social and cultural factors that influenced and shaped Pat Brown's life and governorship. Questions and activities touch on major themes of 20th-century American history, California history, and the role of government. Students gain greater competency in the standards and are given the opportunity to expand their knowledge and go beyond standards. Topics include: the Cold War era, the civil rights movement, counterculture versus law and order, communication in the new television age, the growth of the Superstate, and more.

Leadership & Civic Engagement Unit

In the documentary students are exposed to different concepts of government and styles of leadership. This module helps students think about the role of citizens in a democracy, their rights and responsibilities, and offers ways to be involved in the process. Students gain a greater appreciation for the challenges and dilemmas leaders face. They study and reflect on important issues of morality, political philosophy, and social responsibility. Topics include: Government, Power, Political Philosophy, Public vs. Individual Rights, Environmental Stewardship, Free Speech, Death Penalty, Liberalism and Conservatism. Additionally, students will be offered opportunities to engage in experiential leadership activities.

Legacy Storytelling Unit

In the film, Pat Brown's story is told through the unique perspective of his granddaughter, Sascha Rice. Throughout the film, she shares her storytelling process and the methods she used to learn more about her grandfather's legacy. Sascha's example models many important skills for students including research, interviewing, analyzing and evaluating information. In the Storytelling Module, students learn important journalistic skills, and have an opportunity to investigate their own family and community legacies. They look at how historical, social, and cultural factors influence their own lives and the lives of their families and communities. Short and longer lesson plans help students develop their own storytelling capacities and an opportunity to gain a greater appreciation of where they come from.

4th Grade Unit

This is geared toward 4th graders and fits the California standards,
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