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!
California is on the Pacific Coast
of the 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
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
This is Big Sur, a State Park
on the California coast.
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
Where do you think these beaches are from?
North or South?
In Southern California
there is a very hot, dry
desert called the Mojave
Desert. It is the
smallest and driest
desert in North
Death Valley is part of
the Mojave Desert. It is
the hottest place in
Joshua Tree National Park
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.
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
In February and July, you can see Grey
Whales travel past the Channel Islands
during their yearly migration from
Mexico to Alaska.
This is an underwater kelp forest.
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
This is a picture taken from an
airplane of the Central Valley
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.
Can you label the map?
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
Do you remember?
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 DiegoSan Francisco
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
There’s a very famous
Spaniard who lives in
L.A. Do you know
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
Remember this picture!
Have you ever visited the zoo? What
was your favourite animal?
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
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.
Trolly cars are famous in S.F. too.
Mono Lake Los Angeles
•Which do you like best, nature or the city?
•Do you prefer mountains, beaches, islands, forests or deserts?
•Which is your favourite city in California? What about in Spain?
Sacramento: Sacramento is the state capital.
It’s in the middle of the state in the Central Valley.
Did you know that the governor of California
is Arnold Schwarzenegger?
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.
The California quail
is the state bird.
These are California poppies,
the state flower.
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
This picture is of the first mission
built in California in 1769 by Father
Do you remember where it is?
Mission San Diego de Alcala
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?
Do you want to visit California?
What have you learned?
•Does it snow in California?
•Are there islands in California?
•Who is the governor of California?
•Where is the State Capital?
•What are some agricultural products from California?
•What are the mountains in California called?
•How long do redwood trees live?
•What’s California’s nickname?