MysteryQuest 23 Teachers' Notes
Should I Join the Rush?
This MysteryQuest examines the conditions and opportunities presented by the Klondike Gold Rush. Students learn about the hardships faced by adventurers who went to the Klondike. Students also learn that many factors determine the success of individuals during historical events.
Author: Warren Woytuck
Series Editor: Roland Case
based on an approach developed by The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)
Criteria for judgment
Critical thinking vocabulary
Habits of mind
This lesson can be used as a self-directed activity by having students individually or in pairs work their way through the guided instructions and support material found at
Whole Class Activities
On the following pages are suggested modifications of the self-guided procedures found on the MysteryQuest website for use with a class of students. For convenience, each item of support material and set of procedures is linked to the relevant suggestions for whole class instruction.
Set the context
Invite students to imagine that, as adults, they must move to a new country to find work. Brainstorm factors that students might consider in choosing their destination (e.g., likelihood of making money, certainty of getting a job, climate, recreation opportunities). Ask students whether they would consider moving to a location that could put their personal safety and well-being at risk.
Using Introduction as a guide, explain to students the context for their investigation.
Introduce the task
Using The Task as a guide, explain that students are to work in small groups to provide advice to Alan, a fictional cousin who is thinking about travelling to the Klondike to find work.
Learn about the event
Use the overview, timeline, and map described in Step 1: Learn about the Gold Rush to describe to the class the events and conditions of the Klondike Gold Rush.
Look for evidence
Using Step 2: Look for evidence about living and working conditions as a guide, instruct students to work in pairs to examine one or two documents and two or three photographs listed in the Primary Sources section of Evidence in the Case to learn about the conditions in the Klondike.
Distribute copies of Investigating the Conditions (html) to each pair of students. Select one of the photographs to illustrate how students might identify and record information about various conditions existing in the Klondike.
Arrange for students to share their findings with others in the class. Assemble a master list of the evidence and collectively discuss the most appropriate ratings for each condition.
Using Step 3: Establish your cousin's characteristics as a guide, inform students that their next task is to determine the cousin's work skills and personality traits.
Justify a recommendation
Using Step 4: Prepare your recommendation as a guide, explain to students the three options they have to recommend to their cousin about travelling to the Klondike.
You may choose to hold a class debate or ask students to write a 250-word letter defending their conclusions in light of evidence from the documents examined.
Invite students to work individually or as a class to pursue the suggested activities listed in Extension.