2 Assignment-Primary Source Lesson Plan
SUBJECT AREA: History/ss
GRADE LEVEL: 4
Using some primary sources from the
internet, students will gather information from a list of websites provided to create a time line about John Sutter’s
life and the same time period in American history. They will use the information
gathered from these websites to write a brief history about john Sutter and his significance to the Gold Rush. They will make inferences, and connect the internet sources to their textbook readings to gain more insight
into the impact the Gold Rush had on California’s
development as a state.
H-/SS 4.3.3 Analyze the effect of
the Gold Rush on settlements, daily life, politics, and the physical environment. using biographies of John Sutter, Mariano
Guadalupe Vallejo, Louise Clapp.
Technology research tools-students
use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information from a variety of sources. Also the students will use technology
tools for individual and collaborative writing, communication, and publishing activities to create knowledge products for
inside and outside the classroom.
At the computer lab, working in groups
of 3, students will access the various primary sources of information from the appropriate websites that I have provided for
the students. The following supplies are needed:
A strip of tag board approximately 6”X18’
( for a class of 33, will need 10 strips), glue, or glue sticks, and scissors
Students will do the following activities:
After reading the Biography of John Sutter, (These are secondary sources, but provide a good summary
of John Sutter’s life.
After visiting the websites of primary
sources provided, they will begin gathering information about important personal events that happened in his life from birth
through death, from both the primary and secondary sources. They will also gather
information about events that occurred during the same time period in American history.
In order to make the timeline, they must make a minimum of 10 entries about Sutter’s life
and include at least 2 events that occurred in American History during that same time period.
They will word process the facts on paper to fit the tag board using an appropriate font. Then they fill cut out their information and glue to the tag board.
They should also include some pictures of John Sutter and of other events in American History of that time period.
PRIMARY SOURCE DOCUMENTS:
The following websites are the ones the
students would go to for researching primary sources about the California Gold Rush. Some
of these sites only have images, but by looking at the images, they can get an idea of what was going on, what the people
wore, etc. I have commented about the websites for my own references.
first two websites are entries from John Sutter’s diary about the discovery of Gold at Sutter’s Fort.
This is an awesome collection about the
gold rush-many pictures and exhibits-requires shockwave to view video
This website has an eyewitness account
about what was going on in the gold fields.
This website contains information about
the Gold Rush and pictures from that time frame.
This website contains images from the Gold
Rush and other events of that time
The discovery of Gold-49ers and what happened
when gold was discovered
A virtual site of California
This is an interactive site for kids to
learn about the Gold Rush and the 49ers.
Secondary Sources of other events that
were taking place at the same time period as the gold rush:
Explains westward expansion as a result
of the gold rush
Information about 49ers
About the discovery of gold and events
caused by this discovery
A brief timeline of events that were
happening in American History at the same time as Gold Rush (Underground Railroad) This would be a great site for students. This website is concise. Gives students an idea what a time line is like.
Upon collection of each group’s
timeline, I will check that the students have accurate facts listed. Also, I
will check to see that each group has 10 facts about John Sutter, and 3 facts about other events that were occurring at that
time frame in American History. I will also read what the students wrote to make
sure their spelling and punctuation is correct. Students should have selected
an appropriate font (not too small or too large-facts should fit appropriately on the timeline, and should include pictures.
This lesson would be an extension to the
text used in the fourth grade class-Scott Foresman, History-Social Science, OUR CALIFORNIA-
UNIT 3 Early History to Statehood-“How Did the discovery of gold affect California.-Lesson 3”
This Lesson has one paragraph stating that gold was discovered
in January 1848, by James Marshall in Coloma next to the American River, and one picture of Sutter’s Mill. This
unit would be more engaging to students and enhanced by using technology and having students search the web to find more information
and then process the time span of this information by creating a time line. This
lesson would not happen all in one day Since the fourth graders have computer
lab only once a week for 45 minutes, it may take a long time to complete this project during the allotted class time. After two in class periods, the students will have to work on this project at home. They will have to decide what facts they will include and work out who will do the
word processing and gather the pictures. My concern is that if this becomes a
take home project, the work may not be divided equitably. I will have to monitor
that everyone in the group of 3 works on the project equally. Also, I found an
abundance of information, which I have included. When actually teaching the lesson,
I will have to narrow down the choice of websites, because it will be too overwhelming.
I have just left them included for my own reference. I am also concerned
that some of the material is at a higher reading level than the students can comprehend.
This would be solved by assigning groups and putting less advanced readers with the more advanced students in the class,
so that they can help with the comprehension. Also, if we do this lesson where
all students in the class go to a website at the same time, and teacher helps with walkthrough of the website, it would help
to answer any questions that the student’s may have, and also would help the students pick out important facts from