What was the impact of the Californian Gold Rush 1848-9? GCSE SMART TASK

In this series of short tasks GCSE students predict, infer, gather information and then improve existing explanations of the impact of the Californian Gold Rush.

Firstly, students have to use their existing contextual knowledge to predict what the likely consequences might be. This encourages them to think about the relationship with other settlers as well as the Native Americans, and with the government.

Having allowed for discussion of some early ideas, the lesson then moves onto offering the students 4 images from which they have to infer key reasons. To extend their thinking even further, they then have access to 7 information sheets which you print out from the PowerPoint (slides 7-13) and then either display around the room, as in a gallery, or give a set to each table.

Having collected a range of ideas it is important that students think about how they will organise and classify them. What will they go for?  The standard Political/Social/ Economic?  Relative importance?  Short-medium- and long-term impact?

When they have had a chance to consider the best way, challenge them to improve two key documents: firstly the OCR’s mark scheme and then, more creatively produce an improved Wikipedia entry. Examples of both are included as slides 15 and 16.

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