General goals: For students to imagine what life was like during the Klondike Gold Rush and use their observations and creative writing skills to write a story based on a Klondike photo.
Curriculum links: Language Arts: This exercise addresses many of the expectations in the Communicate Ideas and Information section of the Language Arts curriculum for various grades.Materials and equipment: Gold Rush photos, from photo albums, or students may choose a photo from one of the many books of Klondike Gold Rush photos that have been published. (See the resource list for some titles.)
Introduction: Examine a few photos as a class. Discuss what is happening in the pictures. What might have happened before the picture was taken? What will probably happen next? Ask students to imagine something about the people in the pictures. Who are they? Where have they come from? Why are they there? What might they be thinking? How might they feel?
Activity: Have students write a short story based on a gold rush picture of their choosing. Teachers should set guidelines to suit the class and time available. Students should write a rough draft first, then proofread and edit, before writing a final copy. Students then show their photo and read their story aloud to the class. Encourage positive comments and discussion after each story.
Extension: To address more Language Arts curriculum expectations, students may trade stories for editing, proofreading, and constructive criticism before producing their final copy.