Lesson Plan : The California Gold Rush

Teacher Name:
 Mr. Candella
Grade:
 Grade 4
Subject:
 Language Arts

Topic:
 The California Gold Rush
Objectives:
 Students will be able to develop an historical perspective on why settlers moved west. This will include their motivation as well as a practical look at their options.
Materials:
 The tape of the California Gold Rush in 1849 by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk. Index cards- (at least 25) I prefer 3 x 6 cards, but other sizes work too.
Introduction:
 Students have already learned about the pioneer life and how they were uprooted from their homes for various reasons, sometimes not on their own accord. The gold rush was an enticing adventure because it gave people opportunities to come from under the hard lives that they were living in the east. Where they would be making $1.00 per day on the east coast they could make up to $25.00 or more on the west coast by mining for gold.
Development:
 1. Teacher will introduce story, talk about the author and the title and then proceed to play the tape. (17:28 minutes) 2. Teacher will make sure students are writing down at least one question that they may have about the gold rush on index cards that are passed out. 3. The teacher will give an example- how much were eggs on the east coast if they were being charged $1.00 per egg in California. 4. Students will hand in their questions and the teacher will answer the questions and have a discussion the following day.
Closure:
 The teacher will end by collecting the index cards and answering any questions that the students may have. Books will be put away and next subject will be taught.
Evaluation:
 Students will be assessed informally by going over their workbook answers and also by examining the questions they have written on the index cards.
Teacher Reflections:
 Teacher will read the index cards and answer questions the students have come up with. I think in the future I will ask students to make an oral presentation. The ideas they came up with were great!

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