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Grade 3-5 project:

Gold Rush Diary: This project addresses H/SS standards about the gold rush and also can be used as a writing/presentation activity with English Language Arts themes or units including Going West and One Land, Many Trails. Students can show what they have learned about the gold rush (the journey to CA by covered wagon, life in the camps, mining for gold, etc.) by writing diary entries as if they were one of the Forty-niners. Images from the database can be imported into the Word document. For background information, students might want to visit the PBS website for students about the Gold Rush called Wayback: Gold Rush! http://pbskids.org/wayback/goldrush to learn about gold fever, the journey of the forty-niners, and the Californios.

April 23
Dear Diary,

Write about your experience traveling across the country in a wagon train. Be sure to answer some of these questions as you write:
What is it like each day?
What do you eat?
Do you get bored or is it an exciting journey? Why?
How is the weather? Have you experienced thunderstorms, rain, or dust storms?
How do you cross any rivers or streams?
Who is traveling with you? What happens when people get sick? What kinds of diseases have people had?
What supplies are you taking with you?
Who did you leave behind at home in Missouri?
When do you think you'll see family and friends from Missouri again?
Why are you making the trip to California?

May 3,
Dear Diary,
You've arrived in California and are now spending each day searching for gold. Answer some of the following questions in your diary entry:
How do you spend each day?
Where do you live?
How many other people are also searching for gold?
Have you found any gold nuggets yet?
What happens when someone finds gold?

July 23,
Dear Diary,

You've struck it rich! You just returned to camp after a trip to the bank.
How do you feel?
What will you do with what you have earned?
Are most miners as lucky as you were?
How will this change your life?

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