This small piece of yellow metal is believed to be the first piece of gold discovered in 1848 at
Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Primary Sources, Interactives & Media, Lessons & Activities
Date Posted: 11/10/2009
This teacher's resource challenges students to think about the gold nugget that began the California gold rush as a valuable resource for understanding westward expansion and the idea of Manifest Destiny. It includes a preliminary activity intended to introduce students to doing history with objects and 3 lesson plans focused on the Gold Rush experience. Also included are annotated links to other online resources that are related to western history and the California gold rush.
This resource is included in 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.
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United States History Standards (Grades 5-12)
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
World History Standards (Grades 5-12)
Historical Thinking Standards (Grades 5-12)
4B: Obtain historical data from a variety of sources.
4C: Interrogate historical data.
4D: Identify the gaps in the available records, marshal contextual knowledge and perspectives of the time and place.
4E: Employ quantitative analysis.
4F: Support interpretations with historical evidence.