My partner and I would love to put on a "Gold Rush Day" or some type of culminating experience for the students, but are feeling a bit overwhelmed. We have done "Walk Through California" in the past, but due to $$$$$ constraints it is not possible this year.
What have you done in the past? What stations/activities do you do? Are you willing to share your instructions with us??
I have heard of schools making Indian Fry Bread, and having kids pan for gold (please explain how you do this). What else!?
We would love to start a memorable 4th grade experience!!
Dear Levi: Letters From The Overland Trail? It might be a great book for you unit. Or The California Gold Rush: An Interactive History Adventure. It is a choose your own adventure type book.
i have never done this before, but sounds like fun. Here are a few ideas off the top of my head.
Dress up in jeans, overalls and bandanas.
Love the idea of Indian Fry bread. Add some beef jerky and you have a simple meal.
Pan for Gold- not sure how you do that- Spray paint rocks to use I guess. Need sifters of different sizes. all the gold sprayed rocks should be small enough to fall through I guess and all the regular rocks need to be bigger so they do not fall through.
Bag it- maybe someone could make muslin draw string bags. The gold goes in the bag to carry to the bank.
Weigh- the gold and pay them with pretend money
Set up a mercantile- Allow them to buy something with their earnings (that way it is an economics lesson as well)
You are so much more creative than I am! Those are great ideas!!! You brought back a memory for me with the muslin bags. Back in the day, we used to buy bubble gum from 7/11 in those tiny drawstring bags!! (I totally know I'm dating myself!!) They would be perfect!! I wonder if they have those bags on some website? OK..... I'm off on a scavenger hunt!
I just did this earlier this year. The morning of the Gold Rush, I took hundreds of butterscotch hard candy and scattered them around our playground. I taught a lesson in the classroom about the Gold Rush, important people during this time and how people staked a claim. Students were allowed to get into groups of 3 or work individually to make a claim on the land. If students chose to work with a group, they chose a name for their mining company and then worked together to find gold. We all lined up on like a land race and waited for a signal. I then blew the whistle and set out to search for gold. I gave them a time limit. After the time ended, we gathered back and determined who had the most - individuals or mining companies. We also discussed "going bust." At the end, my students created visual images as a prewrite for a reflection and then wrote a summary about the important information learned in their journal.
Further to a post above ..Bad Wolf Press has a fantastic musical play called Golddust or Bust (or something like that) I have done it twice with Esol kids and in another school with aftercare groups. It is wonderful...the kids love it and learn a lot!
I, too, have done the play Gold Dust or Bust and it is great. It does take a while to practice unless you just want the kids to use the books and not memorize it. The songs are fun to learn and very catchy. I have a class set already printed. Are you by any chance in the EGUSD? If so, you could borrow them. I could send them through district mail.
OUr school has done one for the last few years. I am new to 4th so not sure how exactly it works. I know that the kids pan for gold, have cornbread, and get Beef Jerky. I know the kids get a a vial with gold in it.
I also highly recommend, "Gold Rush or Bust" by Bad Wolf Press. I have seen it several times and thinking about trying to do it this year.