top of page

At-Home Activities: Conquering Mountains - Search for Lost Cities

May 10-14

Workshop Class Activities:

  1. Craft – Nature Print

  2. Key Points – Ghost Towns

  3. Collaborative – Oxygen Experiment

  4. Language Arts – Collaborative Story

  5. Math/Logic – Mapping Ghost Towns

  6. Prepare for Adventure - Music

  7. Big Activity – Gold Flakes

  8. Movement - Red Light, Green Light

At-Home Activities

See a suggested week schedule at


• journal

• colored pencils

• graph paper

• writing paper and pencil

• 3 x 5 notecards


  • Ghost Town at Sundown (Magic Treehouse Book 10) by Mary Pope Osborne ages 6-9

  • If You Were a Kid During the California Gold Rush by Josh Gregory ages 7-10

  • What Was the Gold Rush? by Joan Holub - ages 8-12

  • Various fiction and non-fiction books that relate to lost cities and ghost towns



“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”

-Rudyard Kipling, Author

The following preposition poem was written by a girl after skiing with her family. Copy it in your best handwriting.


Up the ski lift

Above the ground

Toward the summit

From the top

Down the mountain

Through the woods

Between two trees

Off a jump

During the snow

Against the wind

Beside my dad

Behind my brother

Beyond my mom

Toward the bottom

At the end of the trail

With my family

-by Stacey M.

Language arts lesson

Prepositions are words that show direction, time, place, location, and spatial relationships. Some common prepositions are at, in, of, to, on, and by. In the poem above, every line begins with a preposition, such as up, above, toward, and from.

A prepositional phrase is a group of words that begin with a preposition. Each line in the poem above is a prepositional phrase. Two of my favorite lines are Through the woods and Against the wind.

In writing, prepositional phrases help to expand or add more detail to your sentences. For example, the sentence “The squirrel hid the nuts”, leaves the reader wondering. “The squirrel hid the nuts under the pile of leaves”, expands your sentence and gives the reader a better picture.

Writing Activity

Choose a sport that you enjoy or a place in nature that you like to visit. Write a preposition poem about the sport or place similar to the “Skiing” poem above. Each line should be a prepositional phrase that begins with a preposition and should describe the activity or place that you chose. You can even start each line with the same prepositions that the poem uses.


In your journal, write and expand these sentences by adding a prepositional phrase for each one.

Two friends played at __________.

I found my keys in ____________.

The calico cat curled up on____________.

My family decided to eat dinner before_____________.

Write a sentence about yourself using a prepositional phrase.


Math Concept - Simple Percents

Percent means “per 100” or “out of 100”. Two percent (2%) means 2 per 100 or 2 out of 100 parts. If you have a box of 100 crayons and 10 of the 100 are in various shades of blue, you could say that 10/100 or 10 percent (10%) of your crayons are blue. If you spilled your crayons and were able to find all 100, you could say that you found 100 percent (100%) of your crayons. 100% (100/100) of something is the whole thing. Complete the math project to get a better concept of simple percentages.

Math Project - Using Graph Paper to Show Percents

On a piece of graph paper, outline 100 squares, 10 squares across and 10 squares down, making a grid of 100 squares. Using a colored pencil, count 25 boxes inside the grid and color them in. This shows 25 percent (25%) or 25 out of the 100 squares. Using additional graph paper, outline four more 10 x 10 grids of 100 squares. Now, color in these percentages: 3%, 40%, 72% and 100%. Then write your own percentages and color in grids that match.

Math Concept - Finding the Sale Price

Percents can also be expressed as decimals.

50% or 50/100 = 0.50

12% or 12/100 - 0.12

When finding the sale price of an item, it is easier to write the percent as a decimal to solve the problem.

Example: The skateboard shop has a 25% off sale. The original price of the skateboard you want is $120. What will the new price be?

  1. 25% expressed as a decimal is 0.25

  2. 0.25 x 120 is 30, so the reduction is $30

  3. Now, you need to subtract. $120 (original price) - $30 (reduction) = $90

  4. The new price of the skateboard is $90.

Math Project - Gold Rush Sale

During the California Gold Rush, gold was selling for about $20 per ounce. A buyer wanted to purchase five ounces of gold and looked for companies having the best sales. The Nugget Company was giving a 5% discount. Use math to figure out the reduction and the sale price. The GR Gold Company was only giving a 3% discount. Figure out the reduction and sale price for this company. Use subtraction to determine the difference in sale price between the two companies. To learn more about percents:

Mental math

Using notecards, write a percent on one side and it’s equivalent decimal on the other side. Have a partner quiz you by showing you the percent side, while you say the decimal.

Math games

This site has free online math games for all ages:


Research and Report

The California Gold Rush (1848-1855) was a gold rush that began on January 24, 1848, when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California. The news of gold brought approximately 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. Research what it must have been like in the early days of the gold rush. Write a creative story, using historical facts, from the perspective of a child living at Sutter’s Mill during this time.

Themed Fireworks Project

Start a rock collection. Learn about the three main types of rocks: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous. Sort the rocks you collect into the three groups, trying to find at least two rocks of each type. If you are having difficulty finding a certain type of rock, research places where you might find them and plan a field trip to the location.

6-week project

▪ Edit your written report rough draft from last week to create a final draft.

▪ Practice your oral report.

▪ Finish your display.

▪ Invite family and friends to see you present your report next week.


Take a trip to Calico Ghost Town or Sutter’s Mill.

Other Ideas

  • Look for prepositional phrases in any book that you are currently reading.

  • Look for sale ads that show a certain percentage off the original price of an item. See if you can figure out what the sale price will be.

  • Research the current price of gold and compare it to the gold rush price.

Go to to find out more about:

• field trips

• in-person classes

• online classes

• at-home materials


Featured Posts
Recent Posts