What are the characteristics of the Plains Indians culture?
They were very nomadic and they relied on buffalo. They were a tribe of great hunters.
How did the culture of white settlers from that of the Plains Indians?
The whites always wanted more land and they adapted to their environment with technology and inventions. The Indians were conservative and they bonded with nature and animals.
Why did settlers continue to push westward?
Because settlers wanted more land. They also wanted to colonize near mining spots and gold.
Why was the destruction of the buffalo so detrimental to the Native Americans’ way of life?
Because the Native Americans relied on the Buffalo for survival. ( food, clothing, tools, etc.)
Song Discussion Q’s
What two clues do you find in the lyrics that indicate that this song is about gold mining?
She mentioned that she came from a city with a wash plate on her knees. A wash plate was used to find gold nuggets in rivers. She also mentioned that she is going to California and the gold is for to see.
What expectations does the singer have about finding gold in California?
She feels hopeful; she thinks she is going to make a fortune by finding a lot of gold.
How does the tune of the song make you feel?
The tune of the song made me feel happy and adventurous.
What precious minerals drew miners to the west during the 1800s?
Gold drew many miners to the west during the 1800s.
What are boomtowns and where are they located?
Boomtowns were towns that became crowded with miners overnight. They were located near mining sites. They happened to be dangerous because the crime rates increased as many miners came.
“I’ve Been Working on the Railroad”
Song questions and activities:
What do you think this song is about?
This song is about the life of a railroad worker during the construction of the TCRR.
How does the song show the life of a railroad man?
The life was harsh and it was a lot of work. They didn’t get much food but this song shows how the railroad workers had a different perspective on their work. They were optimist and they sang about their work.
Lesson Plan: settling the Western Frontier.
How did the US government encourage railroad companies to build rails across the country?