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Be a P.I. - Primary Investigator

Be a P.I.

"The California State Library Foundation ... is pleased to recommend and support this innovative and imaginative program. This is truly an outstanding way to reach young people and introduce them to the excitement of history through the use of primary source material. The program offers visually stimulating materials as well as stimulating questions designed to instill and develop critical thinking skills. The Foundation is delighted and encouraged by "Be a Primary Investigator."

  Gary Kurutz, Executive Director & Curator

Mystery Game

Investigates the virtues and vices of primary sources throughout time in California. Cartoon graphics lead Student P.I.s through the evidence to solve fifteen cases and discover the answer to "The Big History Mystery." When cruising through time in California, what changes and what stays the same?

Program Features

Critical Thinking and Analysis ... underscores the program activities used to investigate primary sources and leads students to an Idea-based conclusion.

Integrated Content ... explores specific events to discover larger patterns traveling through time In California. All illustrated primary sources drawn from the Rancho Los Alamitos collection link to larger CA/US themes. Investigations also explore related online archives and historic sites throughout California.

Engaging Light-Hearthed Graphic Program Elements ... communicate rich layered content through an appealing visual presentation of primary sources and their traits.

Content Standards ... met by the program match History/Social Sciences, Language Arts, and the Five Themes of Geography.

Modular Organization ... accommodates different school calendars, classroom schedules and sizes, areas of study, and diverse student ability levels and learning styles from special needs to advanced independent study.

Teacher Manual and Links to Open Court Reading Series ... fully explain and illustrate program in an easy-to-use style.

  • Primary Source Timeline Poster (3'x15' interactive graphic illustrated with cartoon characters & sources)
  • 15 Case Investigations (23 different types of primary sources ca. 1784 - 2003)
  • 15 Case Logs
Endorsed by
  • California State Library Foundation
  • California State Archives
  • State Office of Historic preservation
  • Interpretation and Education Division, Department of Parks and Recreation

$90 plus tax and shipping. To order, please call the Rancho at (562) 431-3541


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