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This is my first time teaching 4.4, Children of the Gold Rush, and I’m really enjoying it! My students love the topic so far, and all the background knowledge-building has led to great questions about the time period, people, and geography of the Klondike/Alaskan gold rush.

Prior to starting the unit, I made arrangements for a field trip to the Klondike Museum in Seattle, collected some books on the topic, and contacted one of the authors, Claire Rudolf Murphy. I saw online that she has done school visits and wondered if she might be able to visit my school. However, she lives in Spokane, so a visit wasn’t possible – but she suggested having a Skype visit with my class! We are working out the technical details; I’ll let you know how it turns out. I know my kids will be really excited.

Poster

gold-rush-poster-for-blog-1Once again we are creating a poster about the book, and this one filled up quickly since the introduction provides answers to questions about the setting, important events, and author’s message. Since this is a new genre, I also included on the poster a section to tell about the genre and structure of an anthology.

gold nuggets from children of the gold rushI’m thinking about giving each student who identifies the author’s message in their retell summary a gold nugget. And by gold nugget, I mean a piece of gravel that I spray painted gold. (I got the idea when I found a can of gold spray paint in my garage) I think they’ll be really excited and it’ll be a fun way to acknowledge the good thinking the students show through their retell summaries.

Good luck on your testing next week, and happy reading!


Written by Janet Erickson --- 4th Grade Teacher