Connections Between History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools


Myth & Reality: The California Gold Rush and Its Legacy


Westward Expansion: Gold, Greed and Government

8th Grade Part III, Gold Rush Technology and the Environment

Lesson Title

History-Social Science Content Standards for California Public Schools

Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills Grades 6-8

1. The Effect of Gold Rush Technology on the Environment

8.8.2 Students analyze the divergent paths of the American people in the West from 1800 to the mid-1800s and the challenges they faced. Describe the purpose, challenges, and economic incentives associated with westward expansion, including the concept of Manifest Destiny (e.g., the Lewis and Clark expedition, accounts of the removal of Indians, the Cherokees' "Trail of Tears," settlement of the Great Plains) and the territorial acquisitions that spanned numerous decades.

Chronological and Spatial Thinking #3. Students use a variety of maps and documents to identify physical and cultural features of neighborhoods, cities, states, and countries and to explain the historical migration of people, expansion and disintegration of empires, and the growth of economic systems. Research, Evidence, and Point of View #3. Students distinguish relevant from irrelevant information, essential from incidental information, and verifiable from unverifiable information in historical narratives and stories.

Assessment: Gold Rush Technology Simulation To Mine or Not To Mine

Contemporary U.S. History 11.11.5 Students analyze the major social problems and domestic policy issues in contemporary American Society. Trace the impact of, need for, and controversies associated with environmental conservation, expansion of the national park system, and the development of environmental protection laws, with particular attention to the interaction between environmental protection advocates and property rights advocates.

Historical Interpretation #1 and #2. Students explain the central issues and problems from the past, placing people and events in a matrix of time and place. Students understand and distinguish cause, effect, sequence, and correlation in historical events, including the long- and short-term causal relations.