Are you thinking of using the California Gold Rush as the basis for a lesson plan or unit study?
With some planning you can open out this subject into so many wonderful directions - and each theme you cover helps your children build connections and REMEMBER what they are learning.
Start with looking at the life of a miner, explore the geology of California, take a look at the transport of the time (Railroads, Clipper Ships and Steamboats) and even do a little economics.
English, math, art, geography, history, culture - this type of unit study can really pull everything together in an interesting and fun way.
Example Gold Rush Activities
Our Gold Rush activities were kicked off by reading 'By the Great Horn Spoon' by Sid Fleischman (my book review here). This was a great way to get a feel for the era. The children got very interested in this, so we spent quite a bit of time on it.
Gold Rush Resources
Gold Fever: Tales from the California Gold Rush by Rosalyn Schanzer was really useful in our studies. This is a lovely picture book using real quotes from the time. It also has a good map at the back showing the routes taken to California by land and sea. We referred to it quite a lot during our reading of By the Great Horn Spoon.
Chang's Paper Pony is another good fiction book on the era. Little Chang is a Chinese immigrant, living in a California gold-mining town.
California Gold Rush map - There are two maps available on the Calgoldrush site - one of sea routes and one of land routes. This actually, is a very informative site and well worth a look around. They also have a gold rush timeline of events (under the resources section).
Gold Rush Video - I couldn't find any historic archive type videos, but there is a good video about how to pann for gold on YouTube. Update: Found a nice historic video on YouTube
The Gold Rush Idea book saves you hours of time by pulling together resources and ideas for several study areas around the Californian gold rush.
This downloadable ebook brings over 40 pages of resource ideas for not only the Gold Rush - but many related areas of study. Find out the best games, lapbooks, story books, movies and gold rush activities to bring your unit study alive.
In terms of core subjects covered, you will find that working through some of the suggested directions will automatically cover (to name a few!) :
• History • Art • American Studies • Environmental Studies • Geography • Geology • English • Sociology and Law • Math • Economics • Cultural Studies • Survival skills
This Homeschooling Idea Book will really help you spread your wings and move through different historical times, different geographic regions, culture, economics - you will even pick up some money management skills!
This ebook is an instant download ebook - it is not available as a hard copy.