Part II, Lesson 2: San Francisco Explodes (continued)
Activity #2 (continued): 


  • If possible, students can research population figures for their city. Students can compare populations and make a time line of their city's growth. A math lesson on place value and large numbers would make the population figures more relevant to student understanding.
  • Students can research old maps of their cities. Parents could help with this research by visiting city halls, museums or historic sites with their students. Students could draw their city as they think it might look in the year 2000.
  • Check with third-grade teachers for old maps of the local area. Compare these maps with both the 1850 map and the current California map. Ask students what they think their city or area was like in 1850, and what evidence they have for their predictions.
  • Activity #3 - Procedure:

    1. To groups of three or four students, distribute photos and paintings of San Francisco (Resource 1-1 and San Francisco in July, 1849, and details 1-1a, 1-1b, 1-1c, 1-1d and Resource 2-3 through 2-7). Students will analyze each photograph or painting and informally discuss their findings with each other in their groups. (Additional strategies for artwork analysis can be found in the Primary Source Activities section.) 

    2. Record class findings on a group retrieval chart, posted in class. Student findings could include: Telegraph Hill in background, transportation, housing, stores, streets, open space, plants, clothing, gender, background, harbor activity, etc. 

    Wrap-Up Activity:

    A. Students will stand, with their pictures, in "correct" chronological order. This activity will provoke some spirited discussion. After working on this for five to 10 minutes, ask one member of each group to explain why they chose that particular position. Arrange the pictures to enable class to see them in the order they chose. 

    B. Distribute drawing paper and have students fold it in half lengthwise, then in thirds. Students will make a flowchart depicting the growth of San Francisco, including Telegraph Hill and the date in every panel. Flowcharts can be used for student assessment. 


  • Students can research old photographs and paintings of their city, and make a flowchart or time line depicting the growth of their city.
  • Save the following student work for culminating newspaper: time lines of population growth; California maps; flowcharts showing how San Francisco's landscape changed.
  • Part II, Lesson 2
    Page 21