Academic Controversy in the History Classroom This workshop is sponsored in part by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Eastern Region Program, coordinated by Waynesburg University. Historical Question: Was the Gold Rush a money-making opportunity?Author: Darla MinerClass/Grade Level: 5CT Standards:Grade 5Strand Grade Level Expectation Students will be able to:1.10 – How limited resources 19. Explain that when resources vary, so does wealth and poverty.influence economic decisions. 20. Analyze how businesses use limited resources to create goods and services.2.1-- Access and gatherinformation from a variety 1. Locate and gather information from primaryof primary and secondary and secondary sources.sources including electronic 2. Answer questions about content gatheredmedia (maps, charts, images, from print and non-print sources 3. Summarize information about primary andartifacts, recordings and texts) secondary sources2.2 – Interpret informationfrom a variety of primaryand secondary sources, 5. Compare and contrast information providedincluding electronic media by primary and secondary sources.(e.g. maps, charts, graphs,images, artifacts,Recordings, and text).2.3 – Create various forms 8. Create written work (e.g. historical fictionof written work (e.g. essays) using primary sources (e.g.journal, essay, blog, Web newspaper article, formal essay, poetry, play).page, brochure) to 9. Organize information in outlines and graphicdemonstrate an organizers.understanding of historyand social studies issues.2.4 – Demonstrate an ability to 10. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, inparticipate in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on social studies topics and texts,social studies discourse building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.through informed discussion, 11. Debate conflicting points of view on historical issues or events using evidence.debate and effective oral 12. Give oral presentations on social studies events or issues and use evidencepresentation. from more than one source.
Overview:The Gold Rush was huge immigration west after the discovery of gold at Sutters Mill in California in 1848.Californias population grew from nearly 14,000 in 1848 to almost 100,000 in 1850. Ten years later, thepopulation was 380,000. People from all walks of life came to California, seeking their fortune. Theexhaustion of the supply of gold dust forced gold-seekers to dig deep mines in search of the preciousmetal. The Gold Rush is famous also for encouraging the construction of wagon roads and railroads west.Another development was the great success of farmers, merchants, and others who sold goods andservices to the gold-seekers. However, not everyone who came to California was able to find theirfortune, and many encountered hardship.Document Summary:Document 1 is a journal from a successful merchant at the California Gold Rush. The journal sharesinformation about profits earned by selling goods during the Gold Rush.Document 2 shows a perspective from a miner who sees hardship, sickness, and very little profit.Document 3 shows an account written by a lawyer at the end of the California Gold Rush that illustrates thepositive growth he observed in San Francisco.Document 4 shows the cover of the sheet music, “The Feast of Gold,” that depicts several people filling sacksof gold.Document 5 shows lyrics to the song, “Lousy Miner,” depicting failure while trying to mine for gold.Document 6 shows A print entitled, “Things as They Are,” showing the hardships that people encounteredwhen they reached California.Procedure (80 minutes): 1. Introduction of lesson, objectives, overview of SAC procedure (15 minutes) 2. SAC group assignments (30 minutes) a. Assign groups of four and assign arguments to each team of two. b. In each group, teams read and examine the Document Packet c. Each student completes the Preparation part of the Capture Sheet (#2), and works with their partner to prepare their argument using supporting evidence. d. Students should summarize your argument in #3. 3. Position Presentation (10 minutes) a. Team 1 presents their position using supporting evidence recorded and summarized on the Preparation part of the Capture Sheet (#2 & #3) on the Preparation matrix. Team 2 records Team 1’s argument in #4. b. Team 2 restates Team 1’s position to their satisfaction. c. Team 2 asks clarifying questions and records Team 1’s answers. d. Team 2 presents their position using supporting evidence recorded and summarized on the Preparation part of the Capture Sheet (#2 & #3) on the Preparation matrix. Team 1 records Team 2’s argument in #4. e. Team 1 restates Team 2’s position to their satisfaction. f. Team 1 asks clarifying questions and records Team 2’s answers. 4. Consensus Building (10 minutes) a. Team 1 and 2 put their roles aside. b. Teams discuss ideas that have been presented, and figure out where they can agree or where they have differences about the historical question.
Closure:Each “quad” will create posters with words and phrases that depict the stance for each role- yes andno. Quads will share their posters, and how they came to consensus after hearing both perspectives.Each quad will write a consensus statement to be included with their posters. Posters withconsensus statements will be posted in the classroom.Assessment:Students will write a compare/contrast essay depicting both fortune and hardship encountered duringthe California Gold Rush.Differentiation:Struggling Learners: Have struggling learners pair with strong readers so that they may hear the text documents read aloud. Struggling learners can focus on interpreting text orally. Have struggling learners focus on the prints and short text documents for analysis. Access additional background knowledge through sources such as Discovery Learning (video streaming), picture books, and additional visuals from the Library of Congress.Extensions: Download full versions of the text documents so that students may learn more about the writers of the journals. Have students research the 49ers and create an interactive dramatization that depicts the 49ers prospecting for gold. Students should include successes and challenges as part of their dramatization.
DOCUMENT PACKET Document 1A merchant shares his successes by writing about profits earned during thegold rush.I have just returned from below bringing some 50 letters and $300. worth of goods. I left SanFrancisco just after a Steamer came in from the States so that I bought 125 N York & NewOrleans papers at the rate of 15 cts each. I have sold them all for 50 cts each. The postage onletters is .40 cts, but we get $1.50 each, so that the express business more than pays theexpenses of the trip, and the goods that we sell can be bought for about 1/2 in San Franciscothat they can in Marysville.Mr Hull (the blacksmith) and Wm. Middleton of Va. live with us. Business is better, and as wehave a good stock of goods, we can now compete with older stores.Mr Stone has been down to San Francisco to find some business but has not succeeded. So hecame back bringing some goods, and having bought a tent for $150. he is now in trade here. Heis speculating considerable having bought “Uncle Jeffs House” and sold it again. Vocabulary Letters: hand-written notes send by mail Papers: newspapers Speculating:make risky deals for profitSource:Excerpt from:California gold rush merchant; the journal of Stephen ChapinDavis.1833-1856.http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/calbk:@field(DOCID+@lit(calbk072div75))
Document 2A miner shares his experience of seeing sickness, hardship, and very littlegold.He considers the mines an inexhaustible store, which, if not very yielding, will at leastmanage to support him, and he resolves to pass his life there,--a merry, if a short one. Theconsequence is, that some day, dysentery or scurvy, the two curses of the mines, attacks,him. He has no money left to pay the doctors, and they will scarcely render him the bestattention, without the usual ounce fee. The friends upon whom he has spent his money, misshim at their revels, but hardly enquire about him; for one of the great characteristics of themines is a dreadful, heartless selfishness, which seems to attach itself to the souls of all. He diesunnoticed in his tent. Perhaps a week afterwards, some one comes to borrow a tool, and for thefirst time, sees the dead body. A friend is called in, the two bury the corpse where it lies, anddivide the tent and provisions for their trouble, and that is the end of the poor miner. It is a saddeath which often is the fate of more worthy and economical persons, who, coming unknowninto the mines, fall sick before saving up enough gold with which to purchase proper attentions.It is perhaps wonderful, that among such a set of men, more frequent outbreaks and outrages donot occur. But at every mine, there is a strict administration of what is called justice; and thecelerity with which crimes are punished, deters many who have the will but not the daring tocommit them. As an instance;--the week before we arrived, a man was detected about to stealsome money from a tent. He had not yet fairly taken it, when seeing he was watched, he boltedout and took to flight. The hue and cry was raised, he was chased nearly a mile, and finallysecured. The Alcalde immediately called a jury, and, after a hasty trial, the unhappy victim wasadjudged to receive an hundred lashes, have his head shaved, and his ears cut off, and bedrummed out of the mines; a sentence which was carried out on the spot. Vocabulary Inexhaustible: Cannot be used up Yielding: Inclined to give way to pressure Resolves: Decides Render: To provide Revels: merry festivities Enquire: inquire; to ask about Provisions: stock of supplies Celerity: speed Adjudged:sentenced or condemnedSource: Excerpt from California sketches, with recollections of the gold mines, Kip,Leonard, 1826-1906. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/calbk:@field(DOCID+@lit(calbk011div10))
Document 3A lawyer writes about his experience at the end of the California Gold Rush,and of the positive growth he observed in San Francisco.Returning to San Francisco, I found that less than two months had worked a mighty change inthat city. The spirit of speculation having walked abroad uncontrolled during the interval, newstreets had been laid out and new houses built in every direction, until the place had grown farup the hill behind it and far down the side ravines. Happy, Pleasant, and Contented Valleys, hadbeen gradually invaded by the laying out of new city lots, and the many tents had already begunto retire before the march of more substantial fabrics of wood. And still the tide rolled on, andstill night and day, week-day and Sunday, the noise of hammers could be heard; and, while newhouses rise by magic, it seemed as though each month, the city would be doubled in itsstraggling proportions. Vocabulary Speculation: contemplation or consideration Interval: space between time periods Ravines: a narrow valley with running waterSource: Excerpt from: California sketches, with recollections of the gold mines; with anintroduction by Lyle H. Wright.Kip, Leonard, 1826-1906. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/calbk:@field(DOCID+@lit(calbk011div13))
Document 4The illustrated cover of sheet music of the song, “The Feast of Gold.”Source:California or the feast of gold [Henry Valentine, Messrs. Carrol, Warde, Martin, Mills]: From Robert B.Honeyman, Jr. Collection of Early Californian and Western American Pictorial Material http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/h?ammem/cic:@field(NUMBER+@lit(brk7658))
Document 5Lyrics to the song, “Lousy Miner.”The miner expresses frustration as he triesto seek his fortune in gold.Its four long years since I reached this land,In search of gold among the rocks and sand;And yet Im poor when the truth is told,Im a lousy miner,Im a lousy miner in search of shining gold.Ive lived on swine till I grunt and squeal,No one can tell how my bowels feel,With slapjacks swimming round in bacon greaseIm a lousy miner,Im a lousy miner; when will my troubles cease?I was covered with lice coming on the boat,I threw away my fancy swallow-tailed coat,And now they crawl up and down my back;Im a lousy miner,Im a lousy miner, a pile is all I lack.My sweetheart vowed shed wait for meTill I return: but dont you seeShes married now, sure, so I am told,Left her lousy miner,Left her lousy miner, in search of shining gold.Oh, land of gold, you did me deceive,And I intend in thee my bones to leave;So farewell, home, now my friends grow-cold,Im a lousy miner,Im a lousy miner in search of shining gold.Source: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi- bin/amframe.pl?bannerPage=frame3&db=cowellbib&agg=afccc&item=lsyda
Document 6A print entitled, “Things as They Are,” showing the hardships that peopleencountered when they reached California.Source:N.Y. : Henry Serrell& S. Lee Perkins Lith& Pub, 1849. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2008661518/Some of the language and phrasing in these documents have been modified from the originals.
CAPTURE SHEET Don’t forget the rules of a successful academic controversy! 1. Practice active listening. Was the Gold Rush a money-making opportunity? 2. Challenge ideas, not each other 3. Try your best to understand the other positions 4. Share the floor: each person in a pair MUST have an opportunity to speak 5. No disagreeing until consensus-Preparation: building as a group of four 1. Highlight your assigned position. Yes: The Gold Rush was a money-making opportunity. No: The Gold Rush was not a money-making opportunity. 2. Read through each document searching for support for your side’s argument. Use the documents to fill in the chart (Hint: Not all documents support your side, find those that do):Document What is the main idea of this document? What details support your position? # 3. Work with your partner to summarize your arguments for your position using the supporting documents you found above:
Position Presentation: 4. You and your partner will present your position to your opposing group members. When you are done, you will then listen to your opponents’ position. While you are listening to your opponents’ presentation, write down the main details that they present here: Clarifying questions I have for the opposing partners: How they answered the questions:Consensus Building: 5. Put your assigned roles aside. Where does your group stand on the question? Where does your group agree? Where does your group disagree? Your consensus answer does not have to be strictly yes, or no. We agree: We disagree: Our final consensus: