American West: The Gold Rush

These outstanding resources has been a labour of love on what I have often felt is a truly fascinating turning point in history, the Gold Rush 1848 - 1850s. I have spared no expense in time and effort in trying to produce what I feel is a world class resource. However, don’t take my word for it and check it out for yourself and see what you think. It forms a series of resources that I have written for my students on the American West.

When you purchase this resource you will be supplied with a PowerPoint and an accompanying card sort on the consequences of the gold rush for different groups living in the American West.

The PowerPoint contains the aims and objectives as well as six activities, including a snowballing starter of the key words, a source based analysis question on the short term consequences, a source annotation exercise, two thinking skills graphic organisers that try students to explain the importance of each stage of the gold rush as well as come to an overall conclusion on the negative and positive consequences for different groups living in the American West. I have also included an exam style question with a pupil mark scheme to help students structure a balanced answer.

The card sort includes statements on the impact of the gold rush on different groups in western society, law and order, the economy and expansion of the US. Additional tasks get students to review which consequences were positive or negative for different groups. This should be used alongside the PowerPoint.

I’ve also included some carefully selected video clips which are linked to You Tube. Please remember that they will only work whilst the slide show is on.

The aims and objectives are:

Theme: Early Settlers in the American West.
Know: Why was there a gold rush in California in early 1848?
Understand: The different events of the gold rush and their impact on the West?
Evaluate: The impact of the Californian gold rush on different groups?
Skills: Cause, Consequence, Significance and Source Analysis

WILF: What Am I Looking For?
Identify & describe: The key events of the gold rush?
Explain: The importance of these events and their consequences for different groups living in the American West?
Analyse: Begin to come to a judgement on how far different groups were affected by the gold rush?

Anyway, have fun exploring both the bright and the dark side of this truly amazing turning point in US History. If you would like to remain updated about additional resources then please check out my TES shop or follow The History Academy on either twitter or Facebook.

Kind Regards


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About this resource


Created: Nov 30, 2016

Updated: Feb 18, 2019


pptx, 6 MB



docx, 70 KB



JPG, 159 KB


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