Gold Mining Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Teach students all about gold mining with some assistance from this lesson plan. Students will read a text lesson that explains the what, where, when, and how of gold mining, then get busy with exploratory activities to make learning stick.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'gold mining'
  • explain where gold is found and how it is mined


1 - 1.5 hours


  • Copies of the lesson Gold Mining Facts: Lesson for Kids, one for each student
  • Gold paint
  • Small rocks/gravel
  • Sand
  • Paint brushes
  • Styrofoam plates
  • Shallow aluminum pans
  • Dirt, leaves, and other yard debris
  • Water
  • Index cards

Key Vocabulary

  • Gold mining
  • Gold Rush

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.1

Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2

Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3

Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.4

Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.


  • Prepare for the lesson by giving students about 15 small rocks each and having them paint the rocks with gold paint.
  • Set aside to dry completely, preferably overnight.
  • When dry, prepare pans by adding about a quarter-inch of soil, sand, and other yard debris to an aluminum pan, then push the gold pieces into the soil, hiding completely.
  • Add about two inches of water and set aside.

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