Part I, Lesson 3: Too Funny for Words
45 to 60 minutes
Materials and Preparation:
Resource 3-1 and
To give students a feeling of the climate of the times and the reasons that people around the world "rushed" to the gold fields of California
Vocabulary: exaggeration, political cartoon
1. On the overhead, show transparency of cartoon (Resource 3-1) showing the abundance of gold in California. Pass out and use Cartoon Analysis Worksheet (Resource 3-2) to read the cartoon. Do the same with Resource 3-3.
2. Pass out copies or show transparency of newspaper articles written
during 1849 concerning the discovery of gold in California
Note to teacher: Question #2 on the Written Document Analysis Worksheet will not be appropriate as these are reproductions and not the original documents.
3. Discuss and, if desired, chart reasons why people wanted to come to California to look for gold.
Pass out "Prompts" (Resource 3-6) to each child. Read each one and allow students to select the prompt they wish to answer. Students can respond in their journals.
Have students create their own cartoons depicting how they would haul all of their gold back home.
Note to teacher: The majority of people who came to California during the Gold Rush had no intention of staying. They meant to strike it rich and return home, although this did not turn out to be the case for many.
Part I, Lesson 3