This small piece of yellow metal is believed to be the first piece of gold discovered in 1848 at
The Gold Nugget and the California Gold Rush
Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Sources, Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 11/7/2009
This object-based learning activity revolves around the gold nugget that began the California gold rush. In this resource, students will learn how examining the gold nugget can help them understand the story of the gold rush and its importance to the story of westward expansion. After exploring the gold nugget and its importance as a source of historical information, students will visit the forum section of the site to hear the Museum's curators and historians discuss the object and then use what they have learned to complete the Virtual Exhibit Activity.
This resource is part of The Object of History, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and George Mason University's Center for History and New Media.
This website does not function properly when using Google Chrome as your internet browser as it no longer supports Quicktime. Please use another browser (e.g., Firefox, Safari, etc.) for this resource.
United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
Era 4: Expansion and Reform (1801-1861)
2: How the industrial revolution, increasing immigration, the rapid expansion of slavery, and the westward movement changed the lives of Americans and led toward regional tensions