4th Grade Pioneers and Prospectors

In the 4th Grade block on the Gold Rush, Ms. Malon asked students to imagine themselves as children traveling on a wagon train following overland routes to California, arriving in the city of San Francisco, and heading for the hills of the Gold Country.

In a series of recordings and assignments, Ms. Malon describes the challenges of life as a pioneer, from sandstorms to prairie fires, as well as the daily lives of miners and merchants in the towns where gold had been discovered. Though Ms. Malon’s storytelling, students imagined sandstorms and prairie fires on the Great Plains or the breakfast a miner might eat before digging spending the day digging gold, while also learning about the way the Gold Rush changed the West.

In response, students filled their main lesson book pages with a first-person diary of their experiences as they traveled to California and drawings of scenes their journey.

They also drew maps, created newspaper stories, and wrote letters about their travels with thoughtful embellishments, describing the sights, sounds, smells, and experiences of the pioneers.

Congratulations to our soon-to-be 5th Graders on their beautiful work!

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