Part I: Historical Overview of the Journey - A Ripping Trip (continued)

Curricular Concepts and Framework Connections:

Major concepts addressed in the California History-Social Science Framework for fourth-grade students include diversity and immigration. By learning about the sea journeys people from all over the world made to California during the Gold Rush, students will understand that diversity was an important aspect of the event. As students use the primary sources and support materials included in this unit, they will gain insight into how the news spread, the people who came and why they came. 

As they study how people came, their experiences aboard ship and the sea routes used, students will gain insight into the concept of immigration and how it carries people from one place to another in search of greater opportunity. They will begin to understand how geography plays a role in the movement of people. Through the use of maps, primary sources and other materials, students will compare the various sea routes: around the Horn, across the Isthmus of Panama or across the Pacific from Asia to California. At the close of this study, they will contrast aspects of the maritime voyage with the overland journey. 

Focus Questions - Historical and Geographical Inquiry:

How did news of the discovery of gold bring about a diverse migration to California? 

What pushed people to come and what pulled them here? 

Where did they come from and what routes did they follow? 

What were their journeys like? 

Student Learning - Objectives and Activities:

  • Students will learn why people came, where they came from and what routes they took as they create a large butcher-paper map of the world showing sea routes to California during the Gold Rush. 

  • Students will learn about argonauts' expectations and their actual experiences of voyaging, through small- and large-group discussions of primary sources and support materials from the period. 

  • Students will reflect on what they learn as they "bring themselves to the Gold Rush" through writing journal entries about a voyage. 

    Assessment Questions and Considerations:

  • Does the student map work show the places argonauts left and routes taken? 

  • Does the student's work in small-group discussion and written assignments demonstrate sensitivity to the various cultural perspectives of the miners, what pushed them to come and what pulled them here? 

  • Does the student's journal demonstrate reflective thinking about how the argonauts' expectations contrasted with their actual experiences? 

  • Did the student carry out individual work using appropriate study skills? 

  • Did the student participate appropriately in group work: listen to others, speak in turn and share relevant observations, ideas and comments? 
  • Part I, Overview
    Page 7