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Bishop fourth graders experience Gold Rush Day

History really came alive for Bishop fourth-graders on May 25 where teachers and parent volunteers transformed the campus to Gold Rush-era California. The school tradition has been a part of the Bishop fourth-grade experience since 2001. Students learned how to pan for gold, stake their claim, make corn husk dolls, and traverse the Oregon Trail. Along the trail, students learned about the challenges faced on the 2,000-mile journey such as crossing rushing rivers, battling hunger and disease, and encountering harsh weather such as rain and lightning. Students also learned how buffalo dung was used as fuel for fire and as toy Frisbees for youth. students also enjoyed a watermelon-eating contest and sack race. Students will create video diary entries reflecting on the experience.

“What I love about it is that it really makes the history of the Gold Rush come alive for the kids, and when I used to teach 4th grade and asked the kids at the end of the year what their favorite part of 4th grade was, I would say at least 90% said Gold Rush Day,” said Bishop teacher and parent Jessica Prettol. “It’s also a great way to get our parents involved.”

The 4th-grade teachers involved with the effort were Theresa Ballin, Katie Schultz, and Eleni Papas.

students make corn husk dolls on Gold Rush Day