California Gold Rush Unit for Special Education PRINT AND DIGITAL



Total Pages 145 pages plus 32 google slides
Answer Key Included
Teaching Duration 2 Weeks


California Gold Rush Unit contains over 100 pages and 32 google slides of material specifically designed for students with special learning needs, especially autism. This unit on the California Gold Rush addresses the causes and effects of this exciting time in our history in a simplified but rigorous way for students with diverse learning needs to make meaningful and authentic connections to the material whether learning about the panning for gold or Boomtowns. There are many opportunities for students to engage in repeated information on the California Gold Rush. This repetition encourages a true understanding of the importance of the California Gold Rush and the impact it had on the history of the United States. Finally, many of the California Gold Rush activities and assessments include more than one version, suggestions for differentiation, and options for presentation.

✩✩✩This unit includes a detailed 10-day lesson plan with daily group activities.

✩✩✩This unit includes digital versions of the activities. There are 32 google slides that include a differentiated set of slides. There is a movie version of the book included as well. THESE WOULD MAKE A GREAT INDEPENDENT LEARNING CENTER FOR YOUR CLASSROOM.

See the preview for a detailed look at the contents.


California Gold Rush Unit Includes:

  • 10 day lesson plan
  • 36 page book on the California Gold Rush plus recorded PowerPoint (includes movie version)
  • 20 symbol vocabulary board to use while teaching the lesson
  • Circle map to review main facts of the California Gold Rush (includes digital version)
  • 11 vocabulary cards as well as cut and paste activities (includes digital version)
  • Sorting activity (includes digital version)
  • Finding California on a map (includes digital version)
  • Calculating the value of gold activity (includes digital version)
  • Pan mining simulation
  • Vocabulary puzzles (includes digital version)
  • Close worksheets (includes digital version)
  • Assessment (3 versions) (includes digital version)


Much of what I have learned about curriculum development is incorporated in these units. For example, do not be afraid of repetition. It is critical that students with significant disabilities get to experience material over several days to be able to fully assimilate what is being taught. Also, adding visual supports to your printables and class activities helps students be able to pay more attention to the content you are presenting rather than the mechanics of what is expected. Finally, ask questions. Good questions!! Regardless of the material, if we can ask students good questions it will push them to think more deeply than before.

As always please take a moment to leave feedback or post any questions you may have. 

I am currently developing more units, and any feedback I get helps me make improvements in the future.