Gold Rush Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What was the Gold Rush? This lesson plan uses a text lesson to explain key facts about the California Gold Rush to students. An activity gives each student the chance to pan for gold... well, almost!

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • give a definition for what the Gold Rush was
  • explain what led to the California Gold Rush
  • discuss how the population of California changed as a result of the Gold Rush
  • summarize the aftermath of the Gold Rush

Length

30 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.1

Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.2

Identify the main topic of a multi-paragraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.3

Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.

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