CALIFORNIA
GOLD RUSH


THEMATIC

UNIT

By Liz Muro and Arpie Manuelian

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Table of Contents
Rationale...........................................................................................................................................................................................................

Goals....................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Standards.............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Objectives.............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Bubble Map..........................................................................................................................................................................................................

Daily Schedule.......................................................................................................................................................................................................

Accommodations....................................................................................................................................................................................................

Initiating Activity......................................................................................................................................................................................................

Masterpiece............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Moving to California.................................................................................................................................................................................................

Day 1: Literature-The Great Horn Spoon................................................................................................................................................................

Day 2: English- Famous People..............................................................................................................................................................................

Day 3:Science- Erosion Experiment......................................................................................................................................................................

Day 4: Math-Area and Perimeter.............................................................................................................................................................................

Day 5: Art- Make a flag...........................................................................................................................................................................................

Day 6: Music- The Miner Song...............................................................................................................................................................................

Day 7: Writing- Miner Letter...................................................................................................................................................................................

Day 8: Theater-Mining Play.....................................................................................................................................................................................

Day 9: Technology-Webquest.................................................................................................................................................................................

Day 10: Oral Language-Hydraulic Mining................................................................................................................................................................

Closing Activity: Mining for Gold.............................................................................................................................................................................

Bibliography.............................................................................................................................................................................................................

Technology Resources.............................................................................................................................................................................................


Sources......................................................................................................................................................................................................................





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Rationale:
The California K-12 Academic Content Standards states for the fourth grade curriculum that, “ Students learn the story of their home state, unique in American history in terms of its vast and varied geography, it’s many waves of immigration beginning with pre-Columbian societies, its continuous diversity, economic energy, and rapid growth”. This particular unit will focus on the subject matter of the California Gold Rush. Throughout this unit, students will concentrate on how the Gold Rush transformed the economy of California. Students will also be able to discuss the effects of the Gold Rush on the daily life, settlements, politics, and physical environment. Finally, students will be able to explain the diverse immigration and migration patterns that occurred in California between 1850 and 1900 due to the Gold Rush.
Throughout this unit, students will be reading By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleischman. Students will be engaged in several various activities upon completion of the novel. This story will help the students achieve the goal of being able to reflect on the lifestyle and historical background during the Gold Rush. Other various culminating lessons throughout the unit that students are required to complete will help the students achieve the K-12 Academic Content Standards. These lessons will include various lessons from the content areas of: literature, science, art, music, math, written composition, environmental studies, and English.
Students will have the chance to complete various assessments, which include written, oral, and hands on activities to demonstrate their knowledge of the California Gold Rush. Students will also have the ability to work in various learning settings, which will include cooperative learning groups, partner work, and independent practice, and whole-group instruction. Students will be given the opportunity in various ways to achieve the learning goals and objective in relation to this unit.


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Goals

The goals are for the students to expand their learning on the California Gold Rush. At the end of this thematic unit they will better understand the effects of the Gold Rush and how it transformed California and the people in it. This lesson includes life in the mines, the impact on the environment, and the importance of the evolution of technology.



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Standards
History and Social Science
Grade 4:
California: A Changing State

Sub strand: Students explain how California became an agricultural and industrial power, tracing the transformation of the California economy and its political and cultural development since the 1850s.

-4.4.2 Explain how the Gold Rush transformed the economy of California, including the types of products produced and consumed, changes in towns (i.e., Sacramento, San Francisco), and economic conflicts between diverse groups of people.

-4.4.3 Discuss immigration and migration to California between 1850 and 1900, including the diverse composition of those who came; the countries of origin and their relative locations; and conflicts and accords among the diverse groups (i.e., the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act).

Sub Strand: Students explain the economic, social, and political life in California from the establishment of the Bear Flag Republic through the Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush, and the granting of statehood.

-4.3.3 Analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment (i.e., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp).



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English Language Arts
Grade 4
Writing

1.0: Writing Strategies
Students write clear, coherent sentences and paragraphs that develop a central idea. Their writing shows they consider the audience and purpose. Students progress through the stages of the writing process (e.g., prewriting, drafting, revising, editing successive versions).






Sub-Strand: Writing Strategies
Area: Research and Technology
1.7: Use various reference materials (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, card catalog, encyclopedia, online information) as an aid to writing.




Sub-Strand: Written and Oral English Language Conventions
1.0: Written and Oral English Language Conventions
Students write and speak with a command of standard English conventions appropriate to this grade level







Science
Grade 4
Area: Investigation and Experimentation
Sub-strand: Scientific progress is made by asking meaningful questions and conducting careful investigations. As a basis for understanding this concept and addressing the content in the other three strands, students should develop their own questions and perform investigations. Students will:

d. Conduct multiple trials to test a prediction and draw conclusions about the relationships between predictions and results.
e.Construct and interpret graphs from measurements
f. Follow a set of written instructions for a scientific investigation








Visual Arts
Area: Historical and Visual Context
3.0: Understanding the Historical Contributions and Cultural Dimensions of the Visual Arts
Students analyze the role and development of the visual arts in past and present cultures throughout the world, noting human diversity as it relates to the visual arts and artists.



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Objectives-
-The students will describe the discovery of gold and the new of its spread.
-The students will dicuss the California Gold Rush and the routes by which people arrived.
-The students will be able to explain how gold was mined and effects of mining on the environment.
-The students will describe daily life in the goldfields and mining camps.



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Planning Web-

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Schedule
8:30-8:50 Settle in. Silent Read
8:50-9:50 Language Arts: Reading/Grammar
9:50-10:30 Writing
10:30-10:45 Recess
10:45-12:00 Math
12:00-12:25 Spelling
12:30-1:10 Lunch
1:10-1:40 Health/Art
1:40-2:40 Social Studies/Science
2:40-2:50 Homework logs and jobs
3:00 Dismissal


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Student Accommodations/Learning Styles

Student learning styles:
In this particular classroom students come from a wide array of learning styles and cultural backgrounds. These students perform at different levels and have different background knowledge on the unit. Many of these students also differ in the way in which they learn. Throughout this classroom can also be seen the various different learning styles. There are many students in this class who display visual, mathematical, spatial, logical, intrapersonal, and kinesthetic learning styles. This particular unit will contain lessons that will focus on the different learning styles to differentiate for these students. Different modifications will be made to ensure that each student achieves the Academic Content Standards.

English Language Learners:
- GLAD strategies (visuals, realia, KWL)
- Modeling
- Wait time
- Modified Work
Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)
- Higher level thinking questions using Bloom’s taxonomy
- Extension activities
- Become expert on various important people throughout California Gold Rush



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Initiating Activity

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The students will make a KWL chart. They will write down what they know about the Gold Rush in one column. They will write what they want to know in the next column. And the last column they will leave blank until the end of the thematic unit.

Vocabulary Preview
Treaty-This treaty made California part of the U.S. Mexico and the U.S signed the agreement in 1848.
Isthmus- One way to California was to sail to the Isthmus of Panama, cross the narrow strip of land, and then board another ship to sail northwest.
Forty-niner- A forty-niner was someone who rushed to California in 1849, joining more than 80,000 in search of gold.
Technology- In the first years of the Gold Rush, miners used simple tools to find gold. As gold became harder to find, miners needed more complicated technology.
We will then go over our unit discussing in detail all the aspects of the California Gold Rush that we will learn about. Students will then watch on Discovery Education, Trail to Riches: The California Gold Rush and settlement of the Pacific Northwest.
After the video has been shown the teacher will bring out many different realia that the students will look at. Different clothing that was worn during the Gold Rush, mining tools, and visuals of gold will be shown. Students will get to explore with the realia to see what life would have been like during the Gold Rush.
Students will think-pair-share their ideas with their partners, then they will discuss as a whole group what life might have been like. Lastly, students will journal write what life might have been like as a miner.



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MASTERPIECE

We will go over how California became a territory of the U.S. We will go into the Painting Moving to California. This painting by William Smith Jewett shows a family from the U.S arriving in California in 1846.

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Activity:

The student will ask themselves:
What details show what kind of future the painter thinks the people in the painting might have?

Examples:
The man looks proud.
The woman holds the child safely.
The family looks hopeful.
The will then write an essay about what they think and why they think that. They should include what they see and also the colors the artist displays.

Materials:
The painting placed on the projector- Moving to California
Vocabulary Note Cards
Paper for a KWL chart


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Day 1:


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Subjects: Social Studies, Literature

Standards:
Social Studies: 4.3.3. Analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment (e.g., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp).

1.Language Arts: Reading- 2.2 Use appropriate strategies when reading for different purposes (e.g., full comprehension, location of information, personal enjoyment).

Objectives:
- Students will read the book By the Great Horn Spoon throughout the duration of this unit.
- Students will be given the opportunity to read this book in a whole-group setting, with a partner, and independently to practice their skill of reading.
- Students will gain an understanding on the Gold Rush miners and the entrepreneurs in the story.
- Students will take the role of being an entrepreneur and creating an ad for an item that a gold miner would need.
- Students will create an ad that illustrates and informs the miners about the price of the item. Included will be a slogan for the item.
- Students will summarize the importance of this item, and why every gold miner needs to purchase it.

Materials:
- By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleischman
- Markers
- Paper

Lesson:
  1. On the third day of this unit, students will be introduced to this book.
  2. Students will be sitting in their cooperative learning groups, but will be working independently to create their ad.
  3. Students will first create a list of all the materials that a miner needs when they first move to California.
  4. The student will think like an entrepreneur just like the entrepreneurs in the book By the Great Horn Spoon.
  5. After the student has wrote down a list of all the things that are needed by the miners, they will choose one item, and create an ad for it.
  6. Students need to become the ultimate entrepreneur and create an ad that will make all the miners buy their product.
  7. The ad will include an illustration of the item, a slogan, and price for the item will need to be included.
  8. Students need to remember that their ad needs to be eye-catching because they are competing with many sellers!!!

Assessment:
After all students have turned in their advertisement, the teacher will be able to asses this lesson on the different components that need to be included on the ad. The teacher will see if the student has understood the significance of creating an ad that will make the miner want to purchase from them. A check off list will be included to make sure that each component has been included in the ad.


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Day 2

Subjects: Social Studies and English
Lesson:
The students will read the following passages:

People Who Changed California

Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo (1808-1890)
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In 1835, Mariano Vallejo founded the pueblo of Sonoma, where he raised his family. Vallejo was an official in the Mexican government of California, but he wanted people in California to have more say in their government. He tried to work with newcomers from the U.S., although this could be difficult. Recalling the Bear Flag Revolt, Vallejo wrote,

“at dawn on the fourteenth

Of June they surrounded

My house located on

The plaza of Sonoma.”


John Charles Fremont (1817-1890)

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John Fremont was a mapmaker in the U.S. army. He explored western frontiers, including California. Later, he was a military leader who fought to add California to the U.S. Later he published a book about his life.

Jessie Benton Fremont (1824-1902)
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Jessie Benton used the power of words throughout her life. She was confident writer and seaker. After marrying John Fremont, she wrote books about his expeditions that sold thousands of copies. Her popular stories and articles about the West made many people want to go there.

Activity-
Report two facts you learned from reading one of these biographies. Research one of the people in these biographies and create a timeline of important events in the person’s life. Timelines should summarize the most important events in the lives of the chosen subject drawn from research. Events should be presented in chronological order.

Materials
- Pictures of the people mentioned above

-Print outs of biographies

-Sample timeline

-Computer lab allotted time

Timeline Rubric

4 Summarizes the most important main ideas in correct chronological order; reflects careful, multiple-source research; uses correct timeline format.

3 Summarizes some important main ideas in correct chronological order; reflects good research; uses correct timeline format.

2 Summarizes few main ideas; sequence of events mostly correct; reflects adequate research; some errors in timeline format

1 Fails to summarize main ideas; sequence of events incorrect; reflects poor research; many errors in timeline format



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DAY 3

erosion.jpg

Subjects: Social Studies and Science

Lesson:

The students will perform an experiment. The students will be asked to see how erosion can happen. They will place a small rectangular pan filled with dirt or sand into a larger pan to catch the sediment. They will prop one end other smaller pan on an edge of the larger pan. They will then pour water onto the sand, creating a stream that carries sediment over the edge of the smaller pan into the larger. The students will then describe what they have observed.

Materials:

-Open space

-Pans

-Dirt/sand

-Large pans

-Sediment

-Water

-Paper


Science Assessment:

The students will receive full credit if all participate.


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Day 4: Stake Your Claim!!!

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Subjects: Social Studies and Math

Standards: Social Studies: 4.4.2 Explain how the Gold Rush transformed the economy of California, including the types of products produced and consumed, changes in towns (e.g., Sacramento, San Francisco), and economic conflicts between diverse groups of people.

Mathematics: 1.1.1 Measure the area of rectangular shapes by using appropriate units, such as square centimeter (cm2), square meter (m 2), square kilometer (km 2), square inch (in 2), square yard (yd2), or square mile (mi 2).

Objectives:

- Students will be able to understand how fast the land was being taken by miners during the Gold Rush.

- Students will be able to measure area of their claim that they have staked.

- Students will be able to measure perimeter of the claim that they have staked.

- Students will understand how miners changed the economy of California.

Materials:

  1. Pencil
  2. Paper
  3. 2 sheets butcher paper
  4. Gold
  5. Rectangular and square shapes
  6. Scissors

Lesson:

  1. Students will surround a table that has been placed outside of the classroom.
  2. The table will contain butcher paper on it with “gold nuggets” scattered throughout the table, and with the second butcher paper on top, which is colored brown.
  3. Students will be given at random one rectangular or square shape, and the units of square feet will mark these shapes.
  4. The students will be told that they are miners, and will have 30 seconds to “stake their claim” around the rectangular table.
  5. When the teacher sets the timer, the students will each have 30 seconds to place their shape anywhere they choose to on top of the butcher paper. When the timer goes off, and the 30 seconds have passed the students have claimed their gold.
  6. The students will then proceed to cut around their rectangular or square shape to see how much gold they have struck!!
  7. Students will take their gold, and go back to their desks to find the measurement of their shapes area and perimeter.
  8. Lastly the students will convert their claims from feet to yards.

Assessment:

Students will be able to demonstrate their learning through this project- based lesson. Students will be able to find the area and perimeter of their shape, and convert their measurement from feet to yards after they have claimed their stake. The teacher will be able to walk around and monitor students learning. The students will also be writing down their findings and turning in their written copy to the teacher as another assessment form.


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Day 5

Subjects: Social Studies and Art



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Lesson
The students will read the passage in the book relating to the Bear Flag Revolt. They will build on prior knowledge that California was first home to California Indians. Next, Spain ruled it and later, it was part of Mexico. Then some groups wanted it to become part of the U.S. The main idea of the reading is that the U.S wanted control of California. They will learn about Manifest Destiny and how it was the idea that the U.S should stretch across North America, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. They will also read about President Polk and how he wanted to U.S to control California because he said the U.S had a right to California’s land. Its ports would increase trade and protect the country. The main idea of the Bear Flag Republic is that settlers from the U.S rebelled against Mexican California. The symbols and words of the Bear Flag became part of the state flag of California. The Bear Flag Revolt was the first step on a path that would end 25 years of Mexican government in California. The Bears took control of the Mexican army headquarters at Sonoma. They declared a new country, the Republic of California, and raised a new flag to stand for it.

Activity-
Make a picture that compares the original flag of the Bear Flag Revolt with the current flag of California.

Materials:

-Book

-Images of Bear Flag Revolt

-Images of California flag

-Cardstock

-Watercolors

-Oil pastels

-Markers

-Crayons


Art Rubric

4 Flags shown are accurate; flag details are present

3 Flags shown are generally accurate; most flag details are present

2 Flags shown contain some errors; few details are present

1 Only one flag shown or none at all; incomplete work, details are absent


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DAY 6: MUSIC


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Standards: Social Studies 4.3.3 Analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment (e.g., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp).

Music: 3.1 Explain the relationship between music and events in history.


Objectives:

  • Students will learn about the daily life of a California Gold Rush miner through learning a song.
  • Students will learn this song independently.
  • Students will be able to understand how music can help explain different events in history.
  • Students will be able to learn information through the song that will be sung in class.

Materials:

  1. Song by Barbara Speicher
  2. Music
  3. Paper

Lesson:

  1. Students will be introduced to a song that explains the daily life of a miner.
  2. Students will learn and discuss the song with their cooperative learning groups.
  3. The whole class will sing this song, and be able to discuss the different methods that miners used to find gold.
  4. Students will then write a one -page paper discussing the life of a miner.


Assessment:
Students will be assessed verbally by singing the miner song. Students will also be assessed on their written paper turned in at the end of the lesson.


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Day 7
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Subjects: Social Studies and Writing

Lesson:

The students read about the Life in the Goldfields. Mining Gold and Taking Gold from the ground. The will build on prior knowledge by being asked what tools they use to clean their room. Some students may mention a broom or a vacuum. Miners used special tools, too. Different tools let them mine gold in different ways. Miners used technology to get gold. They used tools such as pans, rockers, and long toms. Miners had hard lives and some comforts. Hey earned money from the gold they mined. The technologies miners used affected California’s environment, and people still tell stories about the Gold Rush days. They difficulties of life in the mining camps included long hours, hard work, fire, few stores, and discrimination.

Writing Activity-
Write a letter that a miner might have written to a parent about work and life in the goldfields.

Materials:

-Torn paper bags

-Book

-Life in the Goldfields printout

- Sample letters


Writing Activity Rubric

4 Clear awareness of audience; purpose and context clear; format corrct; mechanics correct

3 Some awareness of audience; purpose and context adequately expressed; format correct; few mechanical errors

2 Little awareness of audience; purpose and context unclear; format incorrect; several mechanical errors

1 No awareness of audience; purpose and context not established; format incorrect; many mechanical errors


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Day 8:




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Subjects: Social Studies, Theater

Standards: Social Studies: 4.3.3. Analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment (e.g., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp).

Social Studies: 4.4.2. Explain how the Gold Rush transformed the economy of California, including the types of products produced and consumed, changes in towns (e.g., Sacramento, San Francisco), and economic conflicts between diverse groups of people.

Theater: 5.5.1. Dramatize events in California history

Objectives:

- Students will work in cooperative learning groups consisting of five students.

- Students will learn about the daily life, politics, economy, and immigration about California during the Gold Rush.

- Students will explore these components of the California Gold Rush through a dramatization.

- Students will understand how to gather information, and present it through cooperative learning groups.

- Students will act out their roles to showcase what they have learned.


Materials:

  1. Cooperative learning groups
  2. Books
  3. Internet/computer
  4. Props
  5. Social Studies Textbook


Lesson:

  1. Students will decide who in their groups gets the role of presenting on politics (politician), daily life (miner), economy (entrepreneur), an immigrant worker, and a narrator (news-reporter).
  2. Students will then independently research more on their chosen role to gather information to create their play.
  3. Students will choose from a drama trunk different props and costumes that will best suite their character.
  4. The play that the students will put on will be lead by the narrator, who will be acting as if they are a news-reporter giving the latest details and news on the California Gold Rush frenzy.
  5. Students will “report” their news to the reporter, while the rest of the classroom listens respectfully.
  6. Students will then turn in their notes taken during research.


Assessment:

Students will be able to show the teacher what they have learned through verbal communication and dramatization. The teacher will also be able to see how well each individual not only did their own research on their character, but how they worked collaboratively to put on their performance. Students will also be assessed on their notes turned into the teacher at the end of their performance.


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Day 9: Webquest



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Subjects: Social Studies, Language Arts, and Technology

Standards:

Social Studies: 4.3.3. Analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment (e.g., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp).

Social Studies: 4.4.2 Explain how the Gold Rush transformed the economy of California, including the types of products produced and consumed, changes in towns (e.g., Sacramento, San Francisco), and economic conflicts between diverse groups of people.

. Language Arts: 2.2.1. Write narratives: 
a. Relate ideas, observations, or recollections of an event or experience. 
b. Provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience. c. Use concrete sensory details.
d. Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable

Technology

- Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources

- Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.

- Use and navigate a Webquest


Objectives:

- The students will be guided by the Webquest to research and navigate on the webquest to follow the required tasks at hand.

- Students will create a pro/con chart to understand how people transported themselves to the Gold Rush.

- Students will visit other websites via Webquest to gather more information about the California Gold Rush.

- Students will create a narrative story sharing information they have gathered on the California Gold Rush.



Materials:

- Computer lab

- Internet

- Paper


Lesson:

  1. This lesson will begin with the teacher explaining to the students that they will be taking a virtual tour on the Internet about the California Gold Rush.
  2. Students will go to the website http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/encanto/goldrush/#Conclusion and begin to read their task.
  3. Students will follow the directions on their Webquest, and be responsible for completing the two tasks required to complete the Webquest.
  4. Students will research on the different modes of transportation that was available for people to come to California. They will create a pro/con poster for this.
  5. Next the students will surf different websites available through the Webquest to gather more information on the daily life of a miner.
  6. Students will gather and reflect on the information found on if they would stay in California, how are they going to strike it rich, what will happen if they are unsuccessful, an will they continue mining?
  7. Students will write a narrative on the life and thoughts of a miner using all their gathered research as evidence for their narrative writing.
  8. Students will turn in all of their written assignments to the teacher for grading.

Assessments:

Students will be given the opportunity to share their findings and research in front of the class in an oral presentation. They may use any charts or write ups to back up their work. Students will also be assessed on their written work turned in. The teacher will be able to assess if the Webquest was completed successfully by the written


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Day 10

HydraulicMining1.jpg
Subjects: Social Studies and Oral Language

Lesson:

The students will read the following passage:

Hydraulic Mining

The jets of water could knock over miners standing 200 feet away. The water ripped into river banks and hillsides. Millions of tons of loosened soil and rock fell int long ditches. After miners separated out the gold, ditches carried off masses of mud and gravel.

Miners in California probably took out over $100 million in gold. They also destroyed forests and choked the rivers and streams of the Sacramento Valley. Boats couldn’t travel on clogged waterways. Rivers flooded towns and farms.

Farmers were unhappy because floods ruined their crop land. In 1883, a judge stopped hydraulic mining in California.

1 Building Pressure- As water sped down pipes, pressure increased in the hose,

2 Nozzles- Miners swiveled nozzles on hoses to direct water to different spots

3 Tearing Away Land- Water tore into hillsides. Gravel, sand, mid, and gold washed downhill.

4 Water- The extra water overflowed rivers and streams. Farms, businesses, and homes were ruined.

Activity:
Technology is the use of tools and knowledge to get things done. Describe the tools and knowledge used in the paragraph. Make a chart to show the costs and benefits of hydraulic mining. Write a persuasive speech that uses the chart to support your view of hydraulic mining.

Students’ responses should describe the following tools: nozzles, hoses, high-pressure water. Knowledge: of erosion, the likely location of gold deposits, how to generate enough water pressure to wear away layers of rock and soil. Charts should also show the harmful environmental effects of hydraulic mining, as well as its effectiveness. Persuasive speeches should effectively articulate the points listed in students’ charts.

Materials:

-Sample chart

-Samples of Persuasive speeches

-List of harmful effects

- Copies of Hydraulic Mining article from book


Speaking Activity Rubric

4 Clear introduction and conclusion;many clarifying details; information and position effectively conveyed; effective use of intonation and gesture.

3 Introdution and conclusion present; some clarifying details; information and position adequately imparted; intonation and gesture used.

2 Introduction or conclusion weak; few clarifying details; information and position ineffectively imparted; intonation and gesture ineffective.

1 Introduction or conclusion weak; no clarifying details; information and position ineffectively imparted; intonation and gesture not attempted.

Closing Activity: Mining for Gold

mining.jpg
Subjects: Social Studies

Standards: Social Studies 4.3.3. Analyze the effects of the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment (e.g., using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp).


Objectives:
- Students will have the opportunity to mine for gold.
- Students will understand the difficulty in finding real gold versus fools gold.
- Students will be able to see just how much gold miners needed to find to be able to make any real profit.

Materials:
- Sand
- Tub
- Plastic gold
- Rocks
- Colanders
- Sifters

Lesson:
  1. Students will be told that they are playing a gold mining game.
  2. Students will be partnered up, and they will have to become miners mining for gold.
  3. With their partners the students will surround a tub full of sand, rocks, and gold.
  4. The tub will be placed outside of the classroom.
  5. Students will have to “mine” with their colanders or sifters through the rocks and sand to find real gold.
  6. The students will be timed during this process, each pair will have approximately five minutes to mine for real gold.
  7. At the end of their time the students will be able to see how much real gold they have collected.
  8. At the end of the lesson a discussion will be held were we discuss the difficulties in mining for gold.

Assessment:
The teacher will be able to see through this project based learning lesson how the students understand the hard ships of mining for gold. Also the teacher will be able to assess at the end of the lesson when students will orally share what they experienced as a difficulty when they were mining. The students will then discuss what difficulties the miners would have experienced during the Gold Rush.

The students will then fill in their last column on their KWL chart about what they have learned. We will have a discussion to end the thematic unit.


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Gold Rush Bibliography

Doeden, Matt. John Sutter and the California Gold Rush.

Fleischman, Sid. By the Great Horn Spoon.

Freidaman, Mel. The California Gold Rush.

Greenwood, Barbara. Gold Rush Fever.

KidCap. The California Gold Rush, A History Just For Kids.

Waldork, Mary. The Gold Rush Kid.

Webquest http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/encanto/goldrush/#Conclusion



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Literature:

  1. By the Great Horn Spoon, by Sid Fleischman
  2. Song I’m a Miner by Barbara Speicher
  3. The California Gold Rush, by Mel Freidman
  4. The California Gold Rush: A History Just For Kids, by KidCap
  5. The Gold Rush Kid, by Mary Waldorf
  6. Gold Rush Fever, by Barbara Greenwood
  7. John Sutter and the California Gold Rush, by Matt Doeden


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Realia:
  1. Gold
  2. Colander
  3. Sifter
  4. Pan
  5. Dirt
  6. California Flag


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Other Resources:
  1. Webquest http://projects.edtech.sandi.net/encanto/goldrush/#Conclusion
  2. http://www.kidport.com/RefLib/USAhistory/CalGoldRush/CalGoldRush.htm
  3. http://www.history-for-kids.com/california-gold-rush.html
  4. www.discoveryeducation.com
  5. KWL charts
  6. Timelines
  7. Rectangular and square shapes (math)
  8. Paper
  9. Markers/crayons/pencils
10.Butcher paper
11. Cardstock
12. Paper bags
13. Oil pastels/ Watercolors
14. http://www.cde.ca.gov/be/st/ss/documents/histsocscistnd.pdf