Problem: We love the California Gold Rush. That shouldn't be a problem except we have way too much information! Sometimes too much of a good thing leaves us feeling a little overwhelmed. Usually the Gold Rush unit occurs near the end of the school year which sometimes means scheduling conflicts and a tight squeeze! We wanted to create our own curriculum that covered everything important but was flexible enough to use in a variety of ways. We also wanted each section to be able to stand alone, so we decided related activities should be included.
Solution: We decided to create a comprehensive Gold Rush Series of informational and engaging texts each focusing on a specific aspect of the California Gold Rush. The second in the series is called Gold Fever and focuses on the forces that shape massive influx of immigrants to California, create the city of San Francisco as we know it, and determine the ongoing diversity of our state. and the rest of the series will cover the following: The Early Days, Routes to California, Minorities in the Gold Rush, Mining Techniques, and Daily Life as a Miner.
Results: Because the text is so visually enticing, I used my Promethean Board to project the PowerPoint slides. We read the text in chunks, as a whole group, then break up into groups to complete the discussion questions. I also use student copies to pre-teach some of the historical vocabulary and text features in my guided reading groups. When students beg to do social studies, that’s making history come alive!
Ink friendly version included!
See the first in the series at :
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