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California: A Land of Opportunity?

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Language Arts And English +1 Age Level Middle School (13 to 15 years old)

As we continue to read "The Grapes of Wrath," I'd like you to consider the way in which California represents the "American Dream." How has this changed over time? Has California always lived up to its image? Consider who has access to dreams and opportunities in California at any given time.

After you look through the collection, choose one of the following assignments to complete and submit your assignment using the "Submit File" option that is part of the last resource. Hint: you may want to take notes and/or save images as you are browsing the resources here.

Possible assignments:

1) Create a timeline of "Opportunities Gained and Lost" in California using at least 8 images from the collection. For each image, identify who is gaining or losing an opportunity in this instance, and what kind of opportunity is being referenced. Remember this is a timeline and will need to be in chronological order by year. Complete your timeline with an image that you have found (from the Learning Lab or an outside resource) that represents California today.

2) Would you argue that "California is a land of dreams"? How could you change that statement to make it more accurate? Write an essay defending your statement that references at least 4 images from this collection. You may want to do some additional research to supplement your essay.

Tags: point of view, change, continuity, cause, effect, Dust Bowl, drought, migrant, migration, chronology, Steinbeck

Desert Wildflowers, Palm Springs, California, Verbenas, Desert Gold, (painting)

Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums

Eadweard Muybridge

National Portrait Gallery

Tenement Flats

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Braceros Picking Strawberries

National Museum of American History

Knoll showroom, San Francisco

Archives of American Art

Southern California Freeway Scene

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Biotech Bay Poster

National Museum of American History

Salt Grass Lady

National Museum of the American Indian

Anthropology Exhibit, U.S. National Museum

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Pomo Indian Basket, California

Smithsonian American Art Museum

3c California Statehood single

National Postal Museum

Gold Nugget

National Museum of American History

Pioneers of the West

Smithsonian American Art Museum

California 1938

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Japanese Immigrant’s Trunk

National Museum of American History

Moon Kwan

National Portrait Gallery

Azada de Mango Corto

National Museum of American History

Selena's Leather Outfit

National Museum of American History

Photograph of volunteers returning from voter registration centers

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Make-up

National Museum of American History

Tony Hawk

National Portrait Gallery

Technicolor Camera

National Museum of American History

Yosemite Plate

Smithsonian American Art Museum

33c San Francisco 49ers single

National Postal Museum

Environmental Button

National Museum of American History

Extras

National Museum of American History