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California Gold Rush

Designed for Grades 3 – 5

Price: $8.00 Per Student +$25.00 Non-Refundable Deposit

Overview: California Gold Rush focuses on the period from 1848 to 1860 and explores the event that touched off the largest voluntary migration in western history. Students will look critically at the events that led up to and influenced the Gold Rush: who came to California and why, what mining tools and methods were used, the evolution of the mining, and the social, economic, political, and environmental consequences of the Gold Rush.

Hands-on History: The Gold Rush Core Program is designed to work with either Writing History — Newspapers and More or Reading the River — File your Claim.

Writing History focuses on the importance of letter writing and newspapers publishing during the Gold Rush. Students will look to examples of period letters, diary entries, published memoirs, and newspapers as a way of learning about individual Gold Rush experiences and using primary accounts to study the pivotal period in state history.  This activity combines the use of primary accounts and material culture presented in a digital format with the students’ ability to answer the question, what is important to you? Students will take what they have learned and examples from original Gold Rush Period accounts to craft their own newspapers.

Reading the River encompasses the history and geology of the gold fields. Students will be able to answer the questions, what is gold, where was/is it found, and why.  The activity explores types of geological materials and areas where gold tends to be found, how to read the river for the best possible claim, how to file a claim and laws surrounding them, what happens at the assayer’s office, and more. Students will learn to read a river through map study and be able to pinpoint their historical claim

Field Trip Reservation Form

To begin your reservation process, please complete and submit the following form. Reservation forms must be submitted no less than 2 weeks from your preferred program date.

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Program Choices

Choose from one of the Core Programs listed here and then select one of the corresponding thematic Hands-on History Activities (in the next section).

Please select one supplemental program for the day of your visit.

Please select one supplemental program for the day of your visit.

Please select one supplemental program for the day of your visit.

Please select one supplemental program for the day of your visit.

Your reservation will be confirmed only after the Museum has received your reservation form and your deposit. Reservation Deposits are applied to Program costs. After submitting this form, you may pay your deposit by pressing the "ADD TO CART" button. If this form is complete, press the send button below.
If you have already paid your deposit for this reservation request, simply press the SEND button at the bottom of this reservation form. A representative from the Benicia Historical Museum will reach out to you to confirm your reservation, offer availability, and provide clarification on any questions you may have.

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