Atlas Lesson Plans

On this page you will find some lesson plans and learning activities that use the California Atlas. Many of these lesson plans were developed for professional development workshops conducted by the California Geographic Alliance. Lesson Plans include the target grade, subject and California Academic Content Standards.

As California is a changing state, we know that teachers are continually updating these materials and developing their own strategies for using the atlas. We appreciate the feedback of educators and would be happy to share your lesson plans and learning activities (with attribution, of course!).  Please send feedback or materials to

California Atlas Lessons are in PDF format. You can access a free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader here. Click on a lesson title to view in a new browser page; or right-click to download to your computer.

New: Atlas Exploration: Student Scavenger Hunt

New: “I Have, Who Has?” Vocabulary Building Game

New: Map Inquiries (use with optional map reading and interpretation guide)
Earthquake Hazards
Temperature Extremes
Explorers, Adventurers, and Settlers
Farms and Cities Compete for Space
Native Americans in California
Water Resources

California Atlas Literature Connections

California Atlas Writing Activities

Where are California’s Commodities Produced?