Adirondack Gold Teacher's Guide

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Adirondack Gold is a history lesson wrapped up in an engaging novel. Educators will find the Adirondack Gold Teacher's Guide useful in transporting students back to the 1890s, to a rural town in which rugged residents do for themselves. In 1890s Thurman:

  • Family and community play a key role in a child's life.
  • Daily chores are performed by young and old alike, without question and without monetary compensation; to slack in one's work could have an immediate impact on the family dinner table.
  • Much of life is governed by the weather, and one foolhardy enough to ignore the importance of an oncoming storm or cold spell could face life-threatening consequences.
  • Attendance at the one-room schoolhouse fluctuates with planting, harvesting and sugaring.
  • Illnesses such as the flu are serious threats to life.
  • Simple values govern behavior.

Adirondack Gold tells the story of a young boy forced by poverty to go live with grandparents who have been estranged from his widowed mother. He is haunted by unanswered questions about his father's death and the seeming hostility of his grandparents.

During his stay in Thurman he is forced to reevaluate his opinion of his grandparents as he comes to know them and learns more about his family history. He learns the hurt inflicted by bigotry and the value of hard work in achieving goals.

The Teacher's Guide helps highlight some of these themes in the novel, as well as offering "clue-finding" exercises in vocabulary and comprehension. Discussion questions are offered to help more mature readers delve into the values issues. Collateral activities are suggested to help teachers expand upon the book's topics, work in a variety of curriculum areas and give students some hands-on experience with 19th century activities.

The guide is prepared primarily by Persis Granger, who holds a Master of Science in Teaching degree from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. She is grateful to have been able to consult with Astrid Elliott, Paula Barclay, and Mary Ellen Bergeron, veteran elementary teachers.

Teachers are invited to send feedback and share ideas by writing to the author at The most helpful ideas will be shared on the website.

The author and her husband divide their time between Thurman, NY, and the Gainesville, FL, area. She is available to present programs and signings in both regions. Email to learn details and schedule a visit.

Teachers ordering 20 or more copies of Adirondack Gold for classroom use may purchase at a discounted rate.