Women of the California Gold Rush

The California Gold Rush was not just an opportunity for the male gold miners sifting for shiny nuggets. Small groups read accounts of the ways women took advantage of the influx of workers to run hotels, bake pies, and wading out into the river just like their male counterparts. They then choose a writing prompt to use for a longer essay.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Encourage learners to conduct additional research about the roles women played during this time period, or assign a specific female historical figure to learn more about
  • Project the worksheet onto the whiteboard to work on collaboratively
  • Bring into a women's history unit or when studying the mid-nineteenth century in American History
Classroom Considerations

  • Refers to women marrying to obtain wealth as the old-fashioned way; use the statement as an opportunity to discuss stereotypes and traditional gender roles
  • Final page of the packet is blank
  • Designed for high schoolers, but reading level would be appropriate for middle school as well
Pros

  • Promotes primary source analysis and close reading
  • Offers a choice of prompts
  • Provides links for additional research
Cons

  • None
Included Materials - Join to Access

  • Activity
  • Reading Passage
  • Worksheet