Gold Rush Tour Program
The program is a one hour and fifteen minute interactive tour experience targeting fourth grade state curriculum standards 4.4.1 and 4.3.3 using exhibits at the Gold Country Museum and primary resource material from the Placer County Archives and Research Center.
Gold Rush Program Teacher's Manual - printable PDF file
Students will be greeted by museum staff and docents and welcomed to the Gold Country Museum. A brief discussion between docents and students will relate the history of the California Gold Rush. Students will be asked to act as historians and use everything they see, read, or hear during their visit to the museum to support their ideas on how the Gold Rush changed California.
Students will be divided into three groups. Color-coded tags will be provided for each student with a 19th Century Placer County resident’s name on it. At the end of the program each student will get a biography on their “character” to take home, including information on what route they took to California and what jobs they held here. All biographies are true accounts of Placer County residents.
All students will rotate through the following three activities:
1. Environmental Change station where they will discover how the Gold Rush affected the physical landscape of California by interacting with a mural of Placer County before the Gold Rush.
2. Mystery Trunk station where they will learn about the three main routes to California by exploring the contents of three mystery trunks. They will also learn about an important figure in Placer County history by analyzing the contents of a fourth mystery trunk.
3. Rock Sorting and Gold Panning station where they will learn about the rock cycle and the three main types of rocks. They will learn why miners needed to know basic geology in order to find gold and what two types of gold can be found. In the panning section, they will learn about erosion and the type of gold that can be found in rivers and streams. Each student will pan for their own gold.
The Gold Rush Tour Program is run primarily in January and February each year. If you would like to schedule your class, or if you have questions about the program, please call (530) 889-6506.