"Thar's Gold in them thar hills!!!" Relive the excitement of the California Gold Rush with Nature Watch's exclusive Gold Diggins Activity Kit. Kids become prospectors in the gold fields or streams as they stake their claims and carefully search for all those tiny bits of shiny gold in their territory. Best of all, they get to take their find home (it's top quality Iron Pyrite, not gold painted rocks!) in a miner's pouch after weighing it to determine its value.
This project is an all time Nature Watch favorite! Warning: Once you start this project, you'll need to repeat it every year. Kids will demand another gold rush!
Ages 4 and up.
Unit Goals and Concepts:
- Present information about pioneers and early miners.
- Simulate gold digging work (and fun!)
- Introduce idea of value of gold and difficult in finding it.
- Encourage cooperation and imaginative, interactive activity.
- 2 pounds of iron pyrite ("fools gold"), 4 gold prospecting pans and 25 cloth bags (miner's pouches).
- A balance scale and "weights" (washers) to measure findings.
- A vial of real gold (for demonstration and dramatic purposes).
- Books and resource materials to supplement the lesson.
- Our exclusive instructor's activity guide that makes planning the project easy and delivers loads of fun ideas for activities, games and relevant projects
For groups larger than 25, simply add extra iron pyrite, gold pans, cloth bags, balance scales, or vials of gold to your order (see below).
General: Standards in History
Content Standard 1A: Students understand family life in various places long ago. (K-4)
Compare and contrast family life now with family life over time and between various cultures.
Content Standard 2B: Students understand how communities in varied long ago. (K-4)
Describe the challenges and difficulties encountered by people in the far western community.
Specific (California standards):
(SS Analysis Skills) Students explain how the present is connected to the past, identifying both similarities and differences between the two, and how some things change over time and some things stay the same.
(SS K.6 #3) Understand how people lived in earlier times and how their lives would be different today.
(SS 1.4 #3) Recognize similarities and differences of earlier generations in such areas as work, dress, manners, stories, games, and festivals.
(SS 4.4 #2) Explain how the Gold Rush transformed the economy of California.