Part I, Lesson 10: San Francisco, Ahoy!
Time Allotment:
4 hours

Time Allotment:
For Activity #1 and #2:  

a. Resource 10-1:* 
Painting, San Francisco Bay, by T. Ayres

b. Resource 10-2:* 
Painting, San Francisco in July, 1949 by George Henry Burgess

c. Resource 2-1: 
Print, Yerba Buena, 1847 (from Lesson 2)

d. Resource 10-3
Print, Long Wharf, San Francisco

e. Resource 10-4
Print, Family Reunion

f. Resource 10-5
Print, Chinese Buddistic Worship,

g. Resource 10-6a through 10-6d
Student or Teacher booklet, "San Francisco, Ahoy" (Teacher decides whether to read one copy aloud to students or to make copies for students to read aloud.

* (See Color Images section for transparencies.)

Goals of This Lesson:

  • To provide an opportunity for students to demonstrate their understanding of the importance of the moment of arrival to miners,
  • To share their learning about the immigration of diverse people the Gold Rush brought to California, through a celebration of arrival.
  • Procedure for Activity #1 - Anticipating the Arrival:

    1. In anticipation of the arrival, ask students to share how they felt when they actually arrived at the place they were going after a long trip with their families. Ask: 

      What feelings did they have?
      What surprises met them upon arrival?
      Was it the way they expected it to be? The same? Or different?

    2. Place the transparency of the Thomas Ayres painting, San Francisco Bay (Resource 10-1), on the overhead. Have students look quietly at it for moment. Ask: What does the painting express? 

    3. Explain that the painting shows the first view of San Francisco Bay many passengers had. Ask: What do they think the argonauts felt as they entered the bay after many months of voyaging? (Note: The ship shown would have been used to sail within San Francisco Bay, carrying people and supplies possibly as far as Sacramento or Stockton. It would not have carried argonauts across the ocean.) 

    4. While looking at the picture, have students enter a heading with the date (month, day, 1849) and place (San Francisco) for a new entry in their journals. Then have them write two or three descriptive words or phrases that give their response to their "first view" as "argonauts" of San Francisco Bay. 

    5. Place the transparency of the G.H. Burgess painting, San Francisco in July, 1849 (Resource 10-2), on the overhead. Ask students to look at it silently for a minute. Then ask them to work in pairs to generate quickwrite lists in their journals of all the activities going on in the picture. Ask: 

      What are people doing?
      Where are they living?
      What buildings exist?
      What animals do you see?
      What businesses can you guess are in the painting?
      If you could be in this painting where would you be? doing what?
    Procedure for Activity #2 - Impressions upon Arrival:

    1. Use the overhead projector with Resources 2-1 and 10-3 through 10-5 and written excerpts from the period to take students through an overhead projector "story" of voyagers' reactions to arriving in San Francisco. (The visual images are what voyagers might see upon arrival.) 

    2. As you place the transparencies on the projector, give students a moment to simply look, then teacher or students read the corresponding excerpt from an argonaut's journal (Resource 10-6a through 10-6d). Take time with each transparency to have students share briefly what they see before you read the excerpt. 

    Part I, Lesson 10 
    Page 121