Westward Expansion: California Gold Rush PowerPoint

Grade Levels
6th - 9th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • Zip
36-slide pdf presentation, 3-page graphic organizer
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California Gold Rush.

Key words include:
William Becknell
Juan de Onate
Santa Fe Trail
Junipero Serra
Sutter’s Mill
Gold Rush
James Wilson Marshall

This presentation examines:
► The Southwest and where it is located in the United States
► Brief history of the Southwest (from Spain to Mexico to America)
► William Becknell and his contribution to the Santa Fe Trail
► Alta California and its climate
► Father Junipero Serra, the missions he created, and their effect on Native Americans
► The life of Native Americans living at the Spanish missions
► The Mormons and their quest for religious freedom
► James Wilson Marshall and his discovery at Sutter’s Mill
► The rush of immigrants to California and their impact on the territory
► How gold-seekers panned for gold and its impact on the environment
► The increase in population and cities in California resulting in lawlessness
► The impact on Native Americans
► The negative and positive impacts of the Gold Rush

Overarching Question (Thinking Focus Question):
❔ How did the discovery of gold affect life in California?

**CAN BE ALTERED!** This is lesson 15 of the Industry and Westward Expansion Unit. It comes with an engaging and visually appealing 36-slide PowerPoint presentation with easy to understand content illustrated with charts and pictures. This PowerPoint lesson is accompanied by a three-page graphic organizer - answer key included!

PLEASE NOTE: This lesson is a PowerPoint document. The TEXT in this PowerPoint document can be altered, as can the order of the slides, transitions between slides, and animation of bullet points. The photos and proprietary fonts (in the titles and backgrounds) have been “digitally flattened” and are NOT able to be altered. This protects against copyright violation. Please understand what you are buying and my Terms of Use before purchasing this lesson. Thank you!

Here are other lessons in this unit you may be interested in:
Lesson 8: Industrial Revolution (Part 1)
Lesson 9: Industrial Revolution (Part 2)
Lesson 10: Clay's American System and Protective Tariff
Lesson 11: Nullification Act and Indian Removal Act
Lesson 12: Oregon Trail
Lesson 13: Texas and the Alamo
Lesson 14: Mexican American War
Lesson 15: California Gold Rush

UNIT: Industrial Revolution and Westward Movement UNIT - Part 2 of 2

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Total Pages
36-slide pdf presentation, 3-page graphic organizer
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
55 minutes
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


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