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Mining the Motherlode

Educators Corner

Grade 5

I. Online Study Guide for Teachers
The following is an outline which can be used for classes studying the community of Wells and the mining sites surrounding it. Since Wells was built in the 1930s, this is the time period that we will be dealing with. We will be discussing hydraulic and hardrock mining in this area.

This study guide is to assist teachers who are not familiar with the Wells area and can be used in addition to the website. We hope that this guide will give you information on what to expect when you travel to Wells and assist you in preparing and planning for your trip.

The material in this guide is arranged under six headings:
Projects and Exercises
  1. Aural history -Have your students interview a parent or a grandparent in regard to a specified period (1930's in our case). Decide on a series of questions to be answered ahead of time. Some of your students may have parents or grandparents who were in the Wells area in the 1930-1940's. In places like Wells where the history is relatively 'new' as compared to histories of hundreds/thousands of years, this is a way of compiling history.
  2. Have the students make costumes for use in class of the era of 1930's.
  3. Have the students make costumes for use in class of the era of 1930's.
  4. Write a play using some of the characters met in the Mining the Motherlode story.
  5. Pick a building and do a complete inventory on it: measurements, materials, windows, doors etc. Draw a picture of a Wells building.
  6. Draw a map of the transportation routes. Pick a country from which miners came to Wells. Trace the route taken. Compare conditions and customs in the homeland and compare with those in Wells. Think about the changes and adjustments you would have to make. Have the students make a list of all the contents they would have brought if they lived in Wells in the 1930's.
  7. Write a diary depicting a day in the life of: a miner working for one of the hard rock mining companies. a child living in Wells, school life (one room school), chores, play time, entertainment (no t.v.). a woman living in Wells (duties to family, church, leisure activities, difference in role as compared to today).

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Last updated: June 8, 2000