Ages: 16-18

  • British Columbia History
  • Canadian History
  • British North American Colonial History
Key Topics
  • Daily life in the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island around 1858
  • Important events in the historical development of British Columbia
  • Primary and secondary source analysis including visual sources
  • Continuity and change in history

Author: Lindsay Gibson
Editors: Roland Case, John Lutz and Jenny Clayton
Historical Researcher: Jenny Clayton
Developed by: The Critical Thinking Consortium (TC2)

Daily Life in Victoria before and after the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush

Extension Activities

Determining Progress and Decline in Daily Life. Invite students to consider whether the changes brought about by the gold rush were positive or negative. Begin by developing definitions for both progress and decline. When considering progress and decline remind students that change does not necessarily imply progress, nor does continuity necessarily imply stagnation. The assumption underlying many textbooks is one of progress and many students seem to believe if something is new it must be better. The purpose in distinguishing change from improvement is to discourage students from making simplistic judgments about the value or desirability of change or continuity in history. Invite students to use the activity sheet, #13 Progress and Decline in Daily Life, to record and rate the degree of progress or decline for each of the major aspects of daily life.

Writing a Document-Based Response. Using the document packages and other sources of information included with this lesson, invite students to write a document-based essay on the following question: “Was there more [continuity or change in the daily life…?] in common or difference in the daily life in Victoria before and after the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush?” Refer to the activity sheet, #14 Document-Based Essay for instructions.

Continuity and Change in Victoria: Then and Now. Invite students to identify the significant continuities and changes between Victoria today (use Google maps) with the map, #15 Victoria Harbour 1860. Direct students to record their finding on activity sheet, #11 Looking for Continuity and Change.

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Suggested Activities