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
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
Why are you making the trip to California?
You've arrived in California and are now spending each day searching
for gold. Answer some of the following questions in your diary
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?
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?