On January 24, 1848, James Marshall found a nugget of gold in the tailrace of the sawmill he was building for John Sutter. Life in California was forever changed due to Marshall's discovery. The California Gold Rush was on!


The fourth graders of Mr. La Marr's Rapid Learner class at Del Paso Manor School studied the gold rush through a simulation where they "lived" as gold miners in the town of Golden Gulch. The students read articles and listened to information presented orally as they learned what life was like in the gold rush. They completed outlines based on the information, and they competed in mining rounds to earn more gold. Fate cards were drawn to give a realistic feel as to how gold miners in California lived in the 1850's. The students were also presented with a series of problems that they had to solve. The simulation gave the students a great deal of information about life in California's Gold Rush. The class also got to visit the site of Marshall's discovery in Coloma and panned in the same river Marshall used to power his mill.


Once the simulation was complete, the students were challenged to write a website based on their mining team's adventures in California. The students wrote all the material themselves using a word processing program, found their own graphics and created their websites completely on their own. The entire project was done online, and the students used resources from the class website to guide them. This page has links to their finished work.


Take a moment to live the life of a miner in California during the gold rush. as told by fourth graders. The event not only changed California, but it changed the world. See how the California Gold Rush affected the lives of the fourth grade miners. Click on the mining teams' names below to read their adventures.




Golden Pick Mining Company

Golden California

Golden Touch

Gold Rushers

The Mining Masters

The Money Miners

The 40 Miners

Golden Hunters



We hope you have enjoyed your visit!


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