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North to Alaska ... and Gold

Grades 9-12
Social Studies (American History)


Starting with the Denali National Park and Preserve quarter, the students will compare and contrast the California Gold Rush with the Alaskan Gold Rush.  The class will review the events leading to the Gold Rush in California and the geographical significance of Mt.  McKinley, focusing on the 1880s Gold Rush.  The students will list questions that a journalist might ask new prospector.  The students will research, complete a Venn diagram, and will write an essay focusing on the lessons a veteran of the California Gold Rush might give to a person heading to Alaska.


Denali National Park and Preserve Quarter Reverse

United States Map

A Reporter Wants to Know

North to Alaska ... and Gold


The file below contains the lesson plan and all the associated worksheets.  When you click on the link, the PDF will open if you have the free Acrobat Reader plug-in installed.  Depending on your browser's settings, the lesson plan will open in this tab, in a new tab, or in a new window. 

You can then click "File" in the top menu and "Save As" to save the PDF to your hard drive or click "File" and then "Print" to print all the pages on your printer.

North to Alaska ... and Gold

National Standards

Social Studies (American History)

National Council for the Social Studies (

  • Culture
  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • People, Places, and Environment

The Department of the Treasury Seal