My good friend Miss Tammy, owner of Canton Homeschool Resources, did this fun activity to teach our kids about the Dahlonega gold mines in her history class. One of the best activities of the year, I had to share!
To start with, each child gets a mining worksheet and a piece of grid paper. They each get $19 dollars to work with, in this activity they kept track of the money on their worksheet, but you could use play money with kids that are more tactile learners.
With their $19 they had to purchase their land (cookie) and all their supplies. Miss Tammy had 2 types of cookies for them to choose from. Once was $4 and the other $6. The $6 cookie had a few more chocolate chips in it. The kids should trace their cookie on the grid paper and count the squares that the cookie takes up (partial squares are counted as full squares).
Next the kids buy their mining tools. The tools available are:
Flat toothpick — $2.00 each
Round toothpick — $4.00 each
Paper clips — $6.00 each
The children cannot touch the cookie with their fingers at any point during mining so picking the right tools is very important. They may purchase as many tools as they like. If a tool breaks while they are using it, they cannot use that tool anymore an must buy a new one.
They have exactly 5 minutes to mine for as many chocolate chips as possible (mining time should be counted on their worksheets at $1 per minute).
Once the time is up have them count up the number of whole chocolate chips, partial chips can be combined to make a whole. Chips are sold for $2 per chip. After the cookie has been “mined,” the cookie fragments and crumbs are put back into the circled area on the grid paper. Any amount of cookie outside the original circle is subject to a reclamation cost. $1 for any cookie fragments outside the circle.
Now comes the fun part of adding everything up to see how much money you made (or lost!). Whoever makes the most wins!
This was a perfect activity to help the kids learn about mining, it’s impact on the environment and a little about how a business works. The kids enjoyed learning in such a fun hands on way. Thank you Miss Tammy!