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By extensively researching the Gold Rush period and the effect this massive migration had on California towns and mining sites, students develop a biographical portrait representing one of the period’s protagonists. Students independently develop a graph considering modes of transportation, basic needs of ’49ers, and questioning the impact this period had on people and towns. By reading historical and biographical texts, students visualize a miner’s life, conditions at mining sites, booming towns, and how they met their basic needs, such as food, shelter, and tools. Through their research, students analyze and discuss the power of photographic images, and its particular vocabulary and concepts when staging their own biographical photograph.


CCSS English Language Arts
RL 4.1, RL 4.2, RL 4.3, RL 4.6, RL 4.7, RI 4.1, RI 4.2, RI 4.3, RI 4.4, RI 4.5, RI 4.6, RI 4.7, RI 4.9, W 4.3a, W 4.3d-e, W 4.4, W 4.5, W 4.7, W 4.8, W 4.9, W 4.9a, W 4.10, SL 4.1, SL 4.2, SL 4.4, SL 4.4a, SL 4.5

4.3.1, 4.3.2, 3.3

CA Arts Standards
5VA:Re8, 1VA:Re7.1, 2.VA:Cn11, 3.VA:Re8

Grade Level