Surfing Safari grows out of grants from the University of California Humanities Research Institute and the National Geographic Educational Foundation.  It is part of a bigger grant from the National Geographic, entitled “Mapping the Beat,” whose purpose is to introduce students to the “soundtrack” of American history.  In this case, the soundtrack is surf music, primarily, though not limited to, the 1960s, and the lens is California history, beginning with the travels of Captain Cook, through the opening up of Hawaii to American and European tourists, to the burgeoning surf clubs of the 1930s, through the post World War II economic boom of California, and continuing to the present. Surfing Safari lessons integrates history, geography, and music instruction into a single body of lesson plans aligned with the California state curriculum standards.  Through an innovative curriculum that uses the arts and inquiry learning to teach social science concepts, students will consider how the physical and social character of a region shapes popular music and how, in turn, popular music shapes the cultural character of the region.

This site is divided into a variety of categories:

History–a comprehensive history of surfing and surf music of California within the context of California history.  It is divided into sections to provide easy access for educators.

Geography–a description of how the California coastline, weather, and topography, as well as its social character, have played a role in the emergence of surf music.

Lesson Plan–The Surfing Safari lessons integrate history, geography, and music instruction into a single body of lesson plans aligned with the California state curriculum standards.  The California History and Social Science Content Standards require the study of modern U.S. history at the 11th grade level.  History Standard 11.8 suggests the discussion of forms of popular culture, with an emphasis on origins and geographic diffusion, along with the economic boom and social transformation of post-WW II America. California Music Content Standard 4.3 requires that students learn to explain how people in a particular culture use and respond to specific musical works from that culture.

Resources–a list of recommended student readings, multimedia, local museums and archives, and other resources for use by educators and students

About–background of the project, project team members, and acknowledgments

Feedback–as we see this as an ongoing project, we welcome feedback from our web site audience.


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