Lorena RodriguezMarisela CavazosClaudia ChavezTiana Garcia Gold RushLesson Plan Overview: This lesson emphasizes the value of natural resources or other items based on itsavailability. Students will learn about the Gold Rush and why the gold was so important forthem.How Geography is used in the lesson plan: Geography is used in the lesson plan by explaining students about natural resourcesand their value. This will also show them the region of California during the Gold Rush. Inaddition, It will show them the different routes people had to travel to get to California, andthe regions the routes went trough. It will also give a brief explanation about thedestruction of natural habitat with the construction of the mines. Part 1: Preparation and GoalsNumber of Leaders: One Classroom Teacher, One or Two Parent Volunteers.Grade(s) of Student Participants for which the Lesson is designed: Grade 2Number of Sessions: One SessionLength of Sessions: Session 2-3 hoursGeneral Student Objectives
Students will learn the value of things. They will understand why some items are more valuable than others. Students will learn about scarcity. Students will learn why people rushed for Californias gold. Students willPre-Assessment: Teacher needs to read Gold Rush Winter, by Claire Rudolf Murphy andRichard Waldrep, before this activity. Teacher needs to color cotton balls withfood dye or Kool-Aid.Teaching Materials: 1. Colored cotton balls: yellow and other colors of your choice. You can also use colored popsicle sticks. 2. A computer with access to interned in the classroom. 3. A popular item among second graders: iPad, iPod, Nintendo DS, Music CD, Movie etc.Student Materials:1. Containers2. Paper3. Colored pencils, crayons or colored markers. Part 2: Attention Getter and ProcedureAttention Getter for the Lesson:The teacher will get the popular item out, and she/he will show it off to her/his students.Presentation Central Activity:
After teacher finishes showing off her/his item, she/he will ask students questions such as: Why are you so excited about the item? Does everyone have this item? Why? Do people have to work harder for this or for a pencil? Why? How many pencils are in this room? How many "popular items" are in this room? What would you do if you found out the person sitting next to you had a "popular item" right now? What would you do if I told you there are hundreds of FREE "popular items" on the sidewalk across the street? All you had to do would be to get out of school, which will get you into trouble? Would you do it? Teacher will then proceed to explain that, similarly to the "popular item vs. the pencils" , there are natural resources that are more valuable than others.Main Activity: Teacher will explain students that she/he has placed colored cotton ball around theclassroom. She/he will also explain that some cotton balls are more valuable than others. Shewill have a chart showing the value of the cotton balls. Yellow are the most valuable, but it is themost scarce. The value of the rest of the cotton balls depends on the teacher keeping in mind thatthe most valuable items are more scarce and least valuable items are more abundant. Let thestudents know that they can trade their balls with their competitors and give examples. Make a price for the items, for example: Yellow balls are worth two minutes of extratime in recess while black balls are worth 15 seconds of extra time in recess, etc. When students finish collection the "natural resources", have them go to an adult to helpthem count their items. Give them a "payment slip" that they can use for their price. They canspend it all at once or use it in different times.Practice/Learning Activity:
When all resources are gone, have a classroom discussion about the difficulty of findingthe yellow balls. Point out if there were any discussions caused by the cotton balls. Emphasizehow scarce items are more valuable than abundant items. Ask them if they had to move thingsaround to be able to reach the balls. After the discussion, explain students about the Gold Rush in California and bring upsimilarities between the Gold Rush and the classroom experience with the cotton balls. Let themknow how the environment was destroyed or changed by the miners. Using the internet, show the students: Pictures of miners Maps of traveling routes to California General pictures of the Gold Rush Watch a film about the California Gold Rush or Make a field trip to a museum about the California Gold Rush.Closure: After the teacher finishes showing the images, she/he will have another classroomdiscussion recapping what everyone learned. She will then ask the students to draw a pictureabout the California Gold Rush. After they draw the picture, the students will write about theirpictures. Part 3: Assessment and Follow UpStudent Evaluation:Students will be graded based on neatness, completeness, spelling and creativity in accordancewith the rubric below.
Rubric: Points Grammar/ Neatness/Completeness Colorfulness/ Overall Participation in Spelling Creativity Activities No spelling Fully complete and neat Full of colors 100% participation 5 or grammar Very detailed errors A couple of Fully complete and Colors but not 75% Participation 4 spelling or somewhat neat. much detail on grammar Neat but not fully creativity errors complete. Four or Half complete Few colors and 50% participation 3 more Somewhat neat little creativity spelling and on details grammar errors 6 or more At least 1/3 complete and Few colors and 25% participation 2 spelling and not very neat no creativity grammar errors 7 or more Less than 1/3 complete No colors and Less than 25% 1 spelling and and not neat or no creativity participation grammar not complete at all
errorsApplication/Reflection/Self-Lesson Evaluation:I plan to evaluate the effectiveness of my work based on the response of the students. I will seethe students understanding through the discussion after the activity. I will be able to find out iftheres a need for adjustments.Follow-Up Activities or homework:A follow up activity is to have the students bring a list of the things that are most valuable tothem. Another follow up activity is a fieldtrip to a history museum.