Seattle Stake in Klondike Gold Rush: Lesson 13

Lesson Description:

1. Make the following announcement:

Although we're in Skagway, Dyea and the trail to the Chilkoot Pass is only 3 miles away. We need to decide which route to take. Should we travel over White Pass or over Chilkoot Pass?

2. Assign half the class to read about White Pass and the other half to read about Chilkoot Pass. As students read have them record the advantages and disadvantages of their assigned route using the "Advantages/Disadvantages" note taking forms.

3. After 30 minutes have the class reassemble. Set up the student chairs into two long rows so that half the class faces the other half. Students presenting the White Pass trail will sit on one side while the students representing the Chilkoot Pass will sit on the other. In the debate one side, for example Chilkoot, gets to present an advantage to taking their route. The opposing side, White Pass, gets one minute for rebuttal. Then White Pass gets to present an advantage to their route followed by one minute of rebuttal from the Chilkoot side. As arguments are presented you record the advantages and disadvantages for everyone to see. Continue until both sides have finished presenting. Finish with 5 minutes of open discussion.

4. Send students back to their journals to write an entry about which route they think should be taken and why.

OBJECTIVE: To articulate the advantages and disadvantages of the two most popular routes over the mountains; To develop debating skills.


  1. Assemble some brief reading materials from your resources describing the benefits and disadvantages for both the White Pass and Chilkoot Pass.
  2. Half a class set of "Chilkoot Advantages/Disadvantages" note taking form
  3. Half a class set of "White Pass Advantages/ Disadvantages" note taking form.
TIME: 60 minutes

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