After studying the California Gold Rush, the fourth graders of room 15 set to work to examine the event through multiple perspectives. During our study, the students took part in a simulation to learn about California's gold rush. The students read a fun novel, By the Great Horn Spoon!, which is set during the gold rush. The novel had many true facts about the event embedded in it. The challenge was to figure out what was truth and what was some hyperbole. We ventured to Coloma, the site where the California Gold Rush started, and we spent a day at that historical locaton. The students had a scavenger hunt, they gold panned, they visited James Marshall's grave and monument, and were lead through multiple tours of the historic site. Finally, the students read primary source documents from a book titled Readings from the California Gold Rush.  Those stories allowed the class to learn from the people who actually experienced the gold rush.

For the simulation, the class was divided into eight mining teams. The students read articles and listened to informational presentations. Notes were taken during the verbal presentations. The information was put into outlines which earned gold for the team. Fate cards were drawn, and those gave everyone a good idea of what life was like for miners in the gold rush.When the simulation ended, each team explained the gold rush from the perspectives of the 21st Century Literacy themes. The students looked at the gold rush in terms of civic literacy, environmental literacy, business and entrepreneurial literacy and global awareness. Additionally, the teams needed to decide if the Gold Rush was good for California or not.

When the research had been completed, the teams set to creating a website that would explain each perspective. The students wrote their pieces, found graphics to accentuate their work and designed their websites as a team. They wrote an introduction and linked all their pages themselves. This work was done without templates; the students had a blank white webpage with which to begin.

Click on the following links to learn about the many perspectives of the California Gold Rush from the perspectives of the fourth graders who studied the phenomenon. Each link leads to the work from one of the eight gold rush teams in our classroom. We hope you learn something about the California Gold Rush.

By Grabs Let's Get Some Gold
Dawner Miners
Gold Diggers
Golden Monopoly
Pickaxe Partners
San Francisco Gold Hunters
The Gold Nuggeteers
The Gold Thieves

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