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Geography and interesting facts about California. For primary education science classes.

Geography and interesting facts about California. For primary education science classes.

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  • 1. California:
    The Golden State
    By Viola Wilbanks
  • 2. What comes to mind?
    When most people think of California
    they think of Hollywood, movie stars, Disneyland, the beach and lots of sun. But there’s a lot more to California than all that.
    I’m going to show you the real California!
  • 3. Where is California?
    California is on the Pacific Coast
    ofthe United States of America. It is the third largest state in the U.S.A. It is 411,048 sq km! That’s almost as big as Spain.
    It has more National Parks than any state in the U.S.A.—twenty three!
    Because it is so big, California has a lot of geographical variety. There are coasts, deserts, forests, islands, valleys and mountains.
  • 4. NaturalCalifornia:
    California has 885 kilometers of coastline. In Southern California there are a lot of nice beaches and the ocean water isn’t too cold. In Northern California, the coast is rockier, there are many cliffs and fewer beaches. The water is also colder.
    This is Big Sur, a State Park on the California coast.
    Where do you think these beaches are from? North or South?
  • 5. Desert:
    In Southern California there is a very hot, dry desert called the Mojave Desert. It is the smallest and driest desert in North America.
    Death Valley is part of the Mojave Desert. It is the hottest place in North America.
    Joshua Tree National Park
    Death Valley National Park
  • 6. Forests:
    In Northern California there are redwood forests. Redwoods are giant trees that have survived since the time of the dinosaurs. They usually live for between 500 and 700 years, but some trees live to be 2000 years old!!
    The trees are so big you can drive a car through the middle of them.
    Redwoods get their name because the wood that comes from them is red.
    Beginning in the 1800’s, people cut down many of these huge trees. In 1968 Redwood National Park was created to protect part of these ancient forests.
    Wood from a redwood tree.
  • 7. Islands:
    Off the Southern coast of California, the Channel Islands are home to many unique sea animals. There are eight islands in the archipelago. Five of them make up Channel Islands National Park.
    In February and July, you can see Grey Whales travel past the Channel Islands during their yearly migration from Mexico to Alaska.
    Many people go sailing around these islands.
    This is an underwater kelp forest.
  • 8. Valleys:
    In the middle of California, there is a very big valley called the Central Valley. The valley is 640 km from north to south. California’s Central Valley is mostly farmland. The weather is similar to Andalusia. And
    many of the agricultural
    products of California are the same as Andalusia. There are olives, almonds and oranges.
    This is a picture taken from an airplane of the Central Valley
  • 9. Mountains:
    Did you know that in California there are mountains called Sierra Nevada just like in Granada? They are on the eastern side of the state. The highest peak in the Sierra Nevada is Mt. Whitney. It is 4.421 meters high. That’s 943 meters higher than Mulhacen!
    Many people go skiing and hiking in the Sierra Nevada.
    This is Mt. Whitney. It is the highest peak in the lower 48 states.
  • 10. Can you label the map?
    Central Valley
    Where are the redwoods? Where is the Central Valley? Where are the Sierra Nevada? Where is the Mojave Desert?
    Where is the California coastline? Where are the Channel Islands?
    Do you remember?
    Sierra Nevada
    Mojave Desert
    Channel Islands
  • 11. Urban California:
    Los Angeles
    There are 37,000,000 people living in California. It is the state with the most people in the whole U.S.A. Most of the big cities in California are in the south. Three of the largest cities in California are Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. All of them are interesting. They have a lot of museums, historical monuments and fun things to do.
    San Diego
    San Francisco
  • 12. Los Angeles:
    Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood. Many films are shot in L.A. You can visit Universal Studios theme park, Disneyland, or find your favorite actor’s name on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
    Beverly Hills is the most expensive neighborhood in Los Angeles.
    There’s a very famous Spaniard who lives in L.A. Do you know who?
  • 13. Remember this picture!
    San Diego:
    San Diego is very close to Mexico. It has beautiful beaches and many people go surfing in San Diego.
    The San Diego Zoo is also very popular. You can see pandas, elephants, giraffes and many other animals there.
    Have you ever visited the zoo? What was your favourite animal?
  • 14. San Francisco:
    San Francisco is in Northern California. The most famous landmark in San Francisco is the Golden Gate Bridge. It is red and crosses the San Francisco Bay.
    Alcatraz prison is also in San Francisco. It’s on an island in the middle of the Bay.
    San Francisco is famous for its hills, but did you know it’s also got America’s most crooked street? It’s called Lombard St.
    Lombard Street
    Alcatraz prison
    Trolly cars are famous in S.F. too.
  • 15. What’s your favourite?
    • Which do you like best, nature or the city?
    • 16. Do you prefer mountains, beaches, islands, forests or deserts?
    • 17. Which is your favourite city in California? What about in Spain?
    Mono Lake
    Los Angeles
  • 18. California facts:
    Did you know that the governor of California is Arnold Schwarzenegger?
    Sacramento: Sacramento is the state capital. It’s in the middle of the state in the Central Valley.
    The California quail is the state bird.
    These are California poppies, the state flower.
    This is the California flag. There used to be grizzly bears in California, but now they’re extinct. That’s why there is a bear on the flag.
  • 19. A look at history:
    Spanish California:
    Do you know why so many names in California are Spanish? From 1769 to 1821 California was part of Spain! Spanish priests settled along the Southern coast of California and built small churches called missions for the native people.
    This picture is of the first mission built in California in 1769 by Father Junipero Serra.
    Do you remember where it is?
    Mission San Diego de Alcala
  • 20. The California Gold Rush:
    On January 24, 1848, a man named James Marshall discovered gold in the American River. Many people from the East Coast of the U.S. came to California because they wanted to be rich. These people were called miners. There were also a lot of miners who came to California from China.
    Do you have Levi jeans? Did you know that Levi jeans were created for the miners in the Gold Rush?
  • 21. What have you learned?
    • Does it snow in California?
    • 22. What are the mountains in California called?
    • 23. Are there islands in California?
    • 24. Who is the governor of California?
    • 25. Where is the State Capital?
    • 26. What are some agricultural products from California?
    • 27. How long do redwood trees live?
    • 28. What’s California’s nickname?
    Do you want to visit California?