Part I, Introduction (continued)


18. Mining Camp Project
Students create mural or model of mining camp. 4-5 114

19. I Am a '49er
Students complete poem frame taking on the persona of a miner. 1 116

20. Mining Camp Mandala
Students illustrate myth and reality of the Gold Rush. 1 119


E. Framework/Course Model Connections:

These activities will focus on Unit Five in the fourth-grade framework (see page 48 of the History-Social Science Framework) covering the Gold Rush. The element of the standard that these activities reflect is to "Describe how the Gold Rush changed California, including population size, diversity; the buildup of settlements; statehood; the effect of sudden wealth on the state; the Gold Rush's effects on the environment and its impact on the lives of the people already here." Concepts covered are "scarcity" and "diversity." Scarcity will be examined by students as they begin to see how the miner's lifestyle revolved around how much he was able to find in gold. As historian J.S. Holliday states, "Whatever the price today or expected tomorrow, all depended on the miners' continued success and their increasing demand for food, shelter, transport, supplies, and entertainment." 

Note to teacher: All of the activities described within these lessons incorporate SDAIE strategies. The primary purpose of using a SDAIE strategy is to access the student's prior knowledge, especially the second-language English learner. SDAIE strategies also incorporate the use of primary sources, artifacts, role-playing and demonstration, and encourage oral discussion with peers. 

F. Focus Questions and Student Outcomes:

  • What are the characteristics of a mining town? 
      Students will demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of a mining town in the culminating activity, in which they will construct a model of a mining town.

  • What are the elements of myth and reality of life in the mines?
      Through the use of primary source materials, the students will identify the diversity and difficulties of life in the mining towns.

      Through the use of daguerreotypes, students will recognize the idealized miner using actual portraits of miners.

  • What was the lifestyle of a miner?
      Students will compare the lifestyle of a miner to his life prior to coming to the California gold fields.
  • G. Assessment:

    Student learning will be assessed throughout the activities in terms of the individual student Gold Rush journals, quickwrites and cooperative group participation. The assessment project can 

    Part I, Introduction
    Page 3