Boom Town Activities for 3rd Grade

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

'Boom Town' is a book written by Sonia Levitin about life during the California Gold Rush. Use the activities below, geared for third graders, to help students make connections with the story.

Boom Town

Boom Town is a fun book about a young girl, Amanda, who's family travels west during the California Gold Rush. Amanda begins baking pies for the prospectors and eventually builds a booming business. Her efforts inspire others to also start businesses of their own and, eventually, an entire town develops. Help students connect with this story and relate to Amanda by involving them in book related activities.

Character Traits

Materials: writing paper, pencils

  • Begin with a discussion about basic character traits. List the following traits on the board (plus any others you would like to add) and discuss the meaning of each one.
    • Courage
    • Creativity
    • Dependability
    • Determination
    • Diligence
    • Flexibility
    • Initiative
    • Obedience
    • Patience
    • Responsibility
    • Sensitivity
    • Thoroughness
  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Give each group writing paper and pencils.
  • Instruct each group to select five of the character traits listed on the board.
  • For each character trait chosen, students are to write a 2-3 sentence explanation as to how Amanda showed that character trait in the book.
  • Once finished, each group should share their work with the class.

Timeline of Events

Materials: drawing paper, colored pencils or markers

  • Begin with a group discussion about the different events in the book. Make a list of some of the major events on the board.
  • Put students into groups of 2-3.
  • Give each group drawing paper and colored pencils or makers.
  • Instruct each group to develop a timeline highlighting the events in the story (in order). Encourage use of both words and pictures to make each timeline visually appealing and full of good information.
  • Let each group share their work with the class when finished.

What Would Your Business Be?

Materials: writing paper, pencils, additional supplies as determined by students

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