With only a few pages in the text book devoted to the California Gold Rush, you know your students aren’t getting a real feel for this exciting time in U.S. history. This interactive unit — The California Gold Rush and You — has 40 pages of information and illustrations. The unit includes a slide show with 27 slides and a 10-page script with more than 100 bulleted points. Five interactive slides spaced throughout the presentation will ask your students to take notes about
• the journey along three alternate routes
• the three methods of gold-mining
• daily living conditions and other ways to make money besides prospecting for gold,
• the dangers men faced in the gold mining camps
• the result of the boom times in California
With these notes they can write “letters home,” explaining what they’ve seen and done, which will give them a personal stake in the lives of gold miners. Also included in the unit are a blank letter-writing template and a how-to-write-a-letter document which will remind students of what you will be looking for in the content of their letters. Both the template and the document can be reproduced as student handouts. Several art project ideas are also included in a separate document if you want your students to be creative with more than words. Ideas include drawing a map to a secret claimstake; creating your own wanted posters with student photos; creating your own tintype photos of students with cameras or drawing supplies; and drawing a picture of the gold camp to frame and send home to loved ones. A folder of actual tintypes is also included to give students ideas about how to create their own art projects. The slide show is available as both an Apple Keynote and a Microsoft PowerPoint, while the documents are available as a PDF.