Traveling back in time, fourth graders at Saint Mary School participated in Gold Rush Day, which allowed the students to become forty-niners for the day. Students dressed up as characters from that time and partook in activities that gave hands-on experience of what it was like to be a miner. Rotating through seven different stations to learn about this historical period, students also were able to apply skills they have learned in different academic subjects to their station activities.
Putting their math skills to work, the “Overland Math” station taught students how to budget for their East-to-West coast journey with a list of all the supplies they would have needed while keeping to a strict budget. The “Diggin/General Store” station continued the math and budget lesson as the miners dug in tan bark for gold nuggets which were weighed and traded for money per ounce that they then spent at the general store for necessary goods.
Students used their writing skills at the “Postcards from the Diggings” station as they designed and wrote postcards home about their new life from the perspective of a miner. A lesson in social studies was incorporated into the day at the “Mining Techniques and Minorities” station where students learned mining techniques and learned about the significance of minority groups during the time of the gold rush.
Rounding out the real-life skills students learned at the stations were panning for gold; making butter and then eating it on a biscuit; and the very important cookie mining–using toothpicks to “mine” chocolate chips out of cookies!
This annual event was hosted by fourth grade teacher, Erica Dowd, and concluded with a BBQ-themed lunch.