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Impacts of Building Los Angeles

Loggers standing atop a massive, felled Redwood tree
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In this lesson students will explore the factors that led to building infrastructure of Los Angeles and its surrounding communities using the Redwoods of Northern California. Students will have a debate (or dialogue) about the environmental costs outweighing the benefits of urban growth, in particular Los Angeles in the 1920's.

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Wood, iron, steel, concrete -- these are the materials that gave form to Los Angeles and shaped its identity in the national imagination. This episode also questions the cultural legacy and environmental costs of the city's relentless growth.
Building the Metropolis

Lesson: What were the costs and benefits of Los Angeles urban growth in the 1920s?

Download Lesson Plan (PDF)

Content Standards

11.5: Students analyze the major political, social, economic, technological, and cultural developments of the 1920s.

11.11: Students analyze the major social problems and domestic policy issues in contemporary American society.

12.1: Students explain the fundamental principles and moral values of American democracy as expressed in the U.S. Constitution and other essential documents of American democracy.

12.2: Students evaluate and take and defend positions on the scope and limits of rights and obligations as democratic citizens, the relationships among them, and how they are secured.

CCSS Standards

Speaking & Listening (SL.11-12): Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) in order to make informed decisions and solve problems, evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source and noting any discrepancies among the data.

Reading (RH.11-12): Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

Writing (WHST.11-12): Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic.

Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the ideas and concepts.



UCLA History Geography Project USC Libraries Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West KCET

The Lost LA Curriculum project is a collaboration among KCET (Public Media Group of Southern California), USC Libraries, the UCLA History-Geography Project and the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West.

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