History of the Mother Lode is designed to help teachers become more knowledgeable about the history of California, enhance social science teaching skills, and learn to utilize technological applications in their social studies teaching. The course focuses on the people and events that made the Southern Mother Lode region in and around Mariposa, Agua Fria, Hornitos, and La Grange, such a significant part of California's rich history. Through oral history interviews and photo images, the course provides the bridge necessary for classroom teachers to better understand the role this region played in the settlement of the west and, more specifically, California.

The stories of ordinary and extraordinary people help describe and bring in "concepts of courage, justice, heroism, and leadership." Geographic and economic aspects of life during the Gold Rush are explored, including the arrival of immigrants and the impact they had on Native Americans and in forming characteristics of our contemporary society. Terminology, especially as related to "labor-intensive mining," placer mining equipment, and techniques are introduced. Historical sites where miners panned and hydraulic mined for gold, ecological ruins, dredge sites, museums, churches, cemeteries, and historical buildings are visited as a student watches the online videos about the Southern Mother Lode region.

Historical information is presented by docents, written materials, photographs, oral history, dramatizations, narratives, guided tours, and texts. Distinguished Californians who share a common love for California history and the Mother Lode contributed to the preparation of this course. Students are required to watch videos which discuss the historic points of interest in the Mother Lode. Students will read Mariposa County: Images of America, as well as other journal articles on topics related to the course. Students will complete assignments correlating to the videos and readings. Assignments will help students build resources they can use with their students.

NOTE: Required book must be acquired separately.