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Fountains of Columbia

Designed for grades 4-6, this DVD/lesson plan package teaches students about the importance of water during California’s Gold Rush. Based on the actual diary of 11-year-old Mary Leary who lived during the Gold Rush era, the Fountains of Columbia docudrama is part of the California 2000 Sesquicentennial Legacy Project. The 11-minute DVD, shot on the location at Columbia State Historic Park, tells the story of a mining town struggling to manage its resources as miners, farmers and townspeople wrangle over water issues.

This innovative film, created by Cambria Productions, was funded by Metropolitan Water District of Southern California in sooperation with California State Parks and the Water Education Foundation. The interdiscinplinary lesson plan booklet is correlated with the new state frameworks for History/Social Science, Language Arts and Sciences and has hands-on activities involving: world timelines, erosion experiments, primary source readings, including Mark Twain’s “Jumping Frog of Calaveras County”, art analysis of famous Nahl painting “Sunday Morning in the Mines”, a role playing town hall meeting, a map-reading lesson about the overland routes to the gold fields.

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