California Gold Rush In Song


The subject matter of the California Gold Rush is split up into three topics: going to California, looking for gold, and Saturday night in the mines. Three authentic songs of the period are introduced to the 4th grade students for each topic. Historical background, handouts, and colorful stories and vocabulary enrich the learning experience. Songs include “Sacramento,” “California,” and “Clementine.” A writing prompt entitled “My Diary” reinforces Open Court reading lessons. This entails students writing diary entries about their imagined 1850’s experiences in California. Each class is visited by Mr. Cooper (for approximately 30 minutes per session) a total of three times, once for each topic of the Gold Rush. He leads all 4th grade students in the singing of all 9 songs. Lyric sheets (songsters) are provided for the students to keep. The “My Diary” portion is assigned to be completed in school or at home. A daytime assembly for all 4th graders concludes the program at which time students share their “diaries” and sing the songs of the California Gold Rush. All writings will be displayed in a central area of the school, if space is available.

Cost: $500 for one 4th grade class, $750 for 2 classes, $1,000 for 3 classes.