1. Using the websites listed below, as well as other sites and books, articles, etc., students will do preliminary research on the Gold Rush to have a deeper understanding of the economic, social, medical, and political issues that developed from this event.
2. Explain to students that they each will be responsible for being an ‘expert’ on one position held by a person in California during the Gold Rush.
3. Encourage your students to be creative in selecting their position. Suggestions include but are not limited to: banker, doctor, store clerk, farmer, miner, politician, etc.
4. Decide how you want your students to display their expertise. Make sure you require students to examine the overall impact that the Gold Rush would have on their position. Some suggestions are:
Creating a story from the perspective of the character student chooses in the beginning of the lesson.
Teacher places students in groups to form a mini-society of different roles to allow students to write and perform a play that can be filmed for the class to view.
Students create a slide show using PowerPoint that includes pictures of their “character” and the places they have traveled.
This lesson was developed by Marian Maxfield, Kent State University.