Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Awesome American History: 1846-1848

This was a super fun one, and I completely forgot to get any pictures! Well,  this covered Thoreau, the Donner party, and the Gold Rush, pages 87-98 in The American Story by Jennifer Armstrong.

We built cabins out of Popsicle sticks for Thoreau (for his cabin at Walden Pond),  panned for gold (sieved for fools gold in sand and water) and ate jerky (which the Donner party lacked).

I explained to the kids how to tell the difference between fool's gold and real gold (smash it with a rock: pyrite will shatter, gold will bend), and I let them keep the pieces they found.  The kids wanted to know how much the pyrite (fool's gold) would be worth if it were real, so we weighed it and looked up the answer: if it had all been gold, it would have been about $200,000!

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