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Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils, cut paper, and Crayons help you bring a prospector's world to life in a pop-up scene.
Organize students into small groups. Invite groups to research the American Gold Rush and the impact it had on the settling of the North American West. How did the discovery of gold in the California Territory during the mid-1800s contribute to the spread of population across the continent? Select a variety of text and electronic resources for students to view during this research.
Gold prospectors led a difficult life, traveling thousands of miles alone into unknown country. When they arrived at their destination — whether it was California or the Canadian Rockies — they often spent a great deal of time searching for gold, and many never found it. They faced danger from the wilderness as well as other miners. What other hardships can you imagine they endured?
One method prospectors used to search for gold was to sift pebbles and sand in stream beds that flowed from the mountains. This was called panning for gold. Suggest groups imagine they are panning for gold. How would you use tools to search? Would you look in deep water, or shallow? Groups should be prepared to explain their choices.
On white construction paper, students use Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils or Color Sticks to draw a person panning for gold. Remind students to dress prospectors in rugged clothes, including blue jeans and a flannel shirt. Show the person kneeling with a pan in hand. Use Crayola Scissors to cut out the figure. Cut an extra tab of paper to attach the prospector's knees to the stream bed.
Fold another sheet of white construction paper in half. Use colored pencils to draw a stream bed on the bottom half.
On the back (vertical) half of the folded paper, students draw several trees. Cut out one side of each tree. Fold the cut half forward, so it stands up on the bottom of the paper.
Use Crayola School Glue to attach green construction paper to the back of the scene for a forest effect. Glue prospectors to the stream bed.
Students use Crayola Metallic Crayons to place gold in the stream bed and in the prospector's pan--the luckiest gold-miner in California! If the prospector is especially fortunate, suggest students color several scraps of gold paper, crumple them up to resemble rocks, and place them on the stream bed.
Student teams organize their research into a presentation for small groups of classmates. The prospectors should be used as a visual to enhance the presentation.
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