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California Gold Rush Webquest: What did the California Gold Rush Really Cost? (Consumer Price Index Activity)
Students will gain knowledge about the California Gold Rush by completing an internet-based worksheet. This webquest uses a consumer price index website to help students understand the “real cost” of the California Gold Rush in modern money. Your students will be shocked that miners had to pay over $60 for a loaf of bread or over $3000 for boots in 1849! My students love this webquest because it takes those low prices from the 1800s and makes them into real numbers they can understand. This webquest will help your students understand inflation and real cost. Your students will understand the opportunities and expense of the California Gold Rush. Many of my students referred to this webquest as we learned about later events in Westward Expansion.
The CPI index used is:
The webquest contains 30 questions and is a great way to introduce or reinforce information about the California Gold Rush. An answer sheet is included for the teacher. The webquest takes at least 50 minutes, but could be shorter or longer depending on the age level of your students. Feel free to modify this activity if needed to fit the needs of your students.