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How to
Use the Activities


Inquiry Question

Historical Context




Table of

Putting It All Together

Through the following activities students will learn how the Klondike Gold Rush fits into the broader context of gold rushes in American history as well as how buildings can help reveal the stories of a community's past.

Activity 1: Gold Rushes
Have the class compile a list of gold rushes such as those that occurred in California, Nevada, and Colorado. Then ask each student to select one of these gold rushes and compare and contrast it to the Klondike Gold Rush by answering the following questions for both: Where did the gold rush take place? Who were the major people involved? How many people participated? What hardships did the miners face? What were the climate and geography of the region like? How did the prospectors get to the mines? How much gold was extracted from the mines? How did the gold rush impact the development of the surrounding area?

Possible reference books for students include Michael Gates, Gold at Fortymile Creek: Early Days in the Yukon (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1994) and Paula Mitchell Marks, Precious Dust: The True Saga of the Western Gold Rushes (New York: William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1994).

Activity 2: History and Use of Local Buildings
Have students compile a list of several buildings that collectively illustrate the development of their community over time. Divide students up into small groups and have each group choose one building to research. They should consult the library, a local museum, or historical society to find newspaper clippings, photographs, or other materials that reveal the history of the building. They may want to interview local residents about the building and about the development of the area in which the building is located. Each group should prepare an exhibit that illustrates the history of their building, including when and why it was built, building materials and style, its uses over time, and any changes over time. Share each group's work with the class and hold a discussion on how these buildings collectively tell the history of the town. Finally, have the class work together to develop a promotional brochure or walking tour of their town with photos and information about the various buildings they researched.




Comments or Questions

National Park Service arrowhead with link to NPS website.