Digging for Gold

Hello everybody. Welcome back to my blog! This is the first blog post of the entire year! Well actually it’s just the first blog post of the term. Unless you count the Disney world posts. Then this is the first blog post of grade 10. That still has to be an achievement, right? Anyway, the first blog post means the first project, and for the first project of the year, we researched the BC gold rush. The goal of this project was to make a story based in 1830s BC, which is when the BC gold rush took place.

For every project there is a driving question, and for this project the driving question was How did the discovery of gold help shape our province and its people”

For this project we made a story about a character from the era of the BC gold rush. The character in our story was not a real person, but a generalization of a population. The story was also fictional, but not completely, as it did take place in history. In there story there was also no history altering events that we made up, so in the middle of the story we couldn’t make it so that aliens abducted the main character and then the moon blew up or something like that. My character was a Chinese man named Walter Cheng, who fled from China during the Opium War to seek shelter in British Columbia, but when he arrived he had to face the struggles of being a Chinese Canadian in the 1800s.


The image above is my Character Card, which I will get to in a bit.

So now that you know the basis of this project, I’ll start showing you how I made my final product, my story.

Firstly, we began with some research on the BC gold rush, and the best way to conduct research about something is to figure out what you want to know about the thing you are researching. To help us figure that out, we made a list of NTKs, or need to knows. Below is my list of things I felt I needed to know about the BC gold rush before I could make my story.

The main things I thought I needed to know were about who was coming to BC during the gold rush, and why. It might seem obvious that people were coming to BC to get rich from gold, but some people came to BC for other reasons, like some Chinese fleeing to BC to seek refuge from the Opium War, which was taking place during this time. As I mentioned earlier, this was the reason why my fictional character came to BC.

When we had finished our need to knows, we researched the gold rush, and we made timelines with events important to BC’s history that took place around the era of the gold rush.

If you want to see the timeline, just click this link

If I made this timeline again, I would definitely elaborate on the information in the timeline more, and I would probably touch it up to make it more aesthetically pleasing.

Before we got to the keystones, we did a a cause and consequence on the Chilcotin War.

We did a bunch of research on the Chilcotin War, which to summarize quickly, was a war between the Tsilhyqot’in and a bunch of people who wanted to build a road through their territory. We used the research, and the notes we took from the research, to make a 10 sentence summarizing paragraph about the war. Then we used the paragraph, which used the notes, which used the research, to make a cause and consequence sheet on the Chilcotin War, how it affected people at the time, and even how it still affects us now, in the present.

Now, that was actually a warmup for the next step. We’re finally getting into the keystones for this project! We started out with keystone #1, obviously, which was the same as what I mentioned above, but instead, it’s about the gold rush!

We again, made a summarizing paragraph, but this time without the 10 sentences.

In the Caribou Gold rush, deposits of gold were found in BC. Gold was very valuable at the time, and is still very valuable currently, due to the malleability and shine of the material. During this time BC was mostly uncharted territory, and people found it difficult to navigate. As a solution to this, people started mapping parts of BC, and some people ended up documenting the gold rush, mainly in journals. Some people gained riches from gold, and ended up having wealthy families that would pass down wealth for generations. Lots of people immigrated to BC get gold and money, and the immigration allowed the population to grow immensely, especially the immigrants ended up becoming rich

As I said, what is pictured above is a summarizing paragraph, so it has to be summarizing something, which brings me to the BC gold rush cause and consequence sheet.

At the very start of this blog post, I mentioned something that I would get back to later, and that thing also happens to be keystone #2. I said I would get back to it later, and now is later, so I’m now going to talk about the character card.

This is actually my favourite part of the project, as I found it really fun to create a character for the story, and I somehow found this more fun than making the story itself! The character I made is named Walter Cheng, and he is a Chinese Canadian who is residing in BC after fleeing his country to escape the ongoing war taking place there. He has a wife and a daughter, and they have to face the struggles of racism and poverty in the new land. If you want to hear the rest of the story, you can skip to the bottom, but I think you should read about the next part of how I made the story, keystone #3. This was the planning keystone, so I think it’s the most important one.

We actually did two things for this singular keystone, and one of those things was to make a three act structure. A three act structure is one of the best ways to help make a good story, and it consists of, well, three acts. In act one the reader is introduced to the character, they get a glimpse into the character’s everyday life, and then the inciting incident is introduced. The inciting incident is what causes the conflict in the story, and what gets the main character on their mission. Act two is the obstacle of the story, the big hurdle the hero has to overcome before they can get to their goal. Act two also introduces the disaster. This can be anything from the hero losing their job, to them losing a limb or something. The disaster can cause the hero to almost give up on their goal, or motivate them even further. Act three, or the final act, is where the climax of the story happens. This is typically when the hero achieves their goal. Once the climax has happened, it is usually followed by the wrap up, or the conclusion of the story. This is when the loose ends are tied off, and the story ends.

To make sure that the three act structure was up to par, I also filled in a story checklist, to make sure that everything was covered.

Now, that all the preparation was complete, it was time. This is when the final story was written.

If you want to view my final story, just click this link.

In this project, I learned lots of things, like how the BC gold rush is the main reason we live in such a thriving and diverse society today. I also learned about things that I didn’t even think were remotely related to BC, like the opium war. Overall, this project was fun, and if I feel like it in the future, I might even add to my story in my own time, or even make a sequel or something similar.

Well, you’ve made it to the end, and like I do in every blog post, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and I really hope you have a great day.

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