Teacher's Corner
Teacher Activity Links:

Gold Panning Excursion

Yale Citizens in the Gold Rush Era

Gold Miner's Glossaries

You be the Judge...

Thompson River First Nations

Kid's Section

Let them be the Judge...

Many people believe in the early colonial days, there were very little problems during the British Columbia Gold Rush. Not so. A bloodless war, known by many names (the "Ned McGowan War", the Hill's Bar Incident, etc.) happened back on Christmas Day in 1858, on the mighty Fraser River.

Bring your students to a wealth of archival material (here on-line) for there persusal to find out the truth behind the reason for the war, if they can.

To research, using this website and other sources,to show your students the realities of personal biases which exist all around us.

Prescribed Learning Outcomes:
BC Grade 5 Social Studies Curriculum: Applications :
  • to gather and record a body of information from a variety of primary and secondary sources
  • develop alternative interpretations from varied sources
  • use outlines to organize information into coherent presentations

BC Grade 10 Social Studies Curriculum: Applications :
  • identify and clarify a problem, an issue, or an inquiry
  • gather and organize a body of information from primary and secondary print and non-print sources, including electronic sources
  • interpret and evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources
  • assess a variety of positions on controversial issues
  • plan, revise, and deliver written and oral presentation

Group Size: Small groups of 3 or 4 or pairs

(substitutions are fine)
  • Printer to make paper copies of note-taking guide from the web-site
  • Internet accessible computers to access the readings (one per pair) OR print off a set of the readings (one reading/letter per pair)
  • large sheet of chart paper or poster paper
  • markers (for teacher) to record findings onto large paper

1. Bring your students into the internet accessible facility and have them sit in pairs at each station. Explain they will be acting as sleuths today on a very obscure topic, a War that happened in British Columbia over 130 years ago. Each pair will be responsible for
(A) reading some information and then
(B) presenting their findings to the class.

2. Direct you students to the website (address) and have them go straight to the "Kids" section. From here they move into the "You be the Judge" section.

3. Get them to read the "You be the Judge" page and then have them print a copy of the Note-taking Guide (or have them already printed and ready to go, leave them with instructions to print more copies if they need them.)

4. Have them choose which letters or readings they will present to the class.

5. The reading and note-taking may take two sessions on the computers.

6. Once they have finished their readings, have them present their findings to the entire class.

7. The teacher acts as a facilitator by conglomerating all their findings onto a chart (on large paper or poster board)during or after their mini-presentations. This may take one session in itself.

8. The class can then vote or discuss what they beleived to have happened.
  • Discuss the many points of view that were covered in this exercise.
  • What made this activity hard/easy?
  • Where you more apt to believe one person over another? Why?
  • Where there any ways of finding out if someone was not telling the whole story? If so, how?
  • Bulletin Board: Get the students to decide on some type of display for their information in the form of a timeline of events about the 'war' which they can enhance with sections of augmented text blocks.

Home | Contents | Tour | People | Collection | Transportation | Just For Kids! | Team

Last updated 31 August 1998.
This digital collection was producedunder contract to the SchoolNet Digital Collections Program, Industry Canada.
Produced by Schoolnet Digital Collections Team.