Visiting the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a great way for students to become better educated about the gold rush. While the field trip is not a mandatory part of the unit, you and your students will find it an extremely valuable experience. Students see primary documents, dramatic photos, recreations of an outfit and mining techniques, and a short film. The knowledgeable park rangers lead guided tours and answer questions. Most importantly, by going to the park students get visit the part of Seattle where it all took place, historic Pioneer Square. A great bonus is free admission and tours!
What is a National Historical Park?1. Pass out blank paper to every student and something with which to draw.
2. Ask students to quickly draw that they think and National Historical Park looks like. Most likely students will draw pictures of trees or vistas.
3. After students share some of their drawings, inform the class they will be visiting a National Historical Park that is located in a building in the middle of Pioneer Square. Emphasize this park is a Historical Park (the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park was established to tell the story of the last great gold rush in North America. The park was founded in Seattle because of Seattle's role as the primary outfitting station before jumping off to the Yukon Territory.)
1. Post 3 pieces of butcher paper. Label each "Know," "Want to Know," and "Learned," respectively.
2. Ask the students to help you list all the things they know about the Klondike Gold Rush and things they want to know. Things they know for certain go on the "Know" list. Things that they want to know or suspect go on the Want to Know list.
3. You will revisit these lists again after the field trip. Cross out any "Want to Know" questions if the answer was discovered during the field trip. Add the answer to the "Learned" list. Add any additional information that was learned from the visit.
4. Keep these lists posted in order to add to them throughout the unit.
TEACHER NOTES: Attached is a four page worksheet for students to take on the field trip. You may find it helps keep students focused and ensures the visit is a learning experience. If time is limited, you may want to select a few specific questions for students to answer.