Building Colorado: Cities




Building Colorado: Cities

An in-school program for 4th grade

Building Colorado classroom activity Engage fourth-graders in economic concepts through the fun lens of history with the “Building Colorado: Cities” classroom activity. Museum staff will come to your classroom to present this 90-minute game-based lesson. Students will work in teams to weigh the opportunity cost, incentives, and risks to make the same choices that historic Colorado cities faced. It fulfills content standards for all social studies topics and challenges critical thinking skills.

The Building Colorado classroom activity won the Josephine H. Miles History Award from History Colorado in 2016.

Here’s why teachers and students love Building Colorado: Cities

  • Fast-paced trading game
  • Led by museum staff
  • 90 minutes long
  • Fulfills history and economics standards
Number of classes  Price
1 classroom $130
2 classrooms $235
Each additional $80

A 20% discount is available for Title 1 schools.

Mileage rates will be applied at the current IRS rate of $.58/mi. in 2019.


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What are teachers saying about Building Colorado?

What are teachers saying about Building Colorado?

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the class?

90 minutes in classroom. Plus, additional pre- and post-visit lessons are included.

How does this relate to what I’m teaching?

Building Colorado classroom activityBuilding Colorado is an immersive game that re-imagines historic events. Topics include exploration, the 1859 Gold Rush, the fight for the railroad, statehood, the boom and bust of silver, and more. Students make economic decisions, take risks, and weigh incentives to advance their teams.

What do you need from the teacher?

Building Colorado is fully facilitated by a Golden History Museum staff member, however teachers are encouraged to enjoy the game along with their students and assist in facilitation by acting as the “banker.” If available, the program will use the classroom projector and computer. Also, before the program begins, teachers should divide students into 10 equal groups of two to three students each.

What if the weather turns bad on the scheduled day?

For the safety of our instructors, Golden History Museum & Park reserves the right to cancel or reschedule Building Colorado programs for inclement weather including but not limited to snow, wind, rain or extreme temperatures. The Education Department actively tracks weather forecasts and will make judgements after considering road conditions, the distance our instructors must travel and ultimately, school district decisions.  

The museum hopes to make an informed decision 24 hours before the program begins, however, depending on the severity of the weather, a decision may need to be made the morning of the scheduled visit. If the need arises, the Education Department will work with the booking teacher to reschedule the program as quickly as possible.

Photos: Jim Rabiolo


I learned that if you want to, you can change history.

4th grader, Park Hill Elementary

The in-class program offered by GHM has been a huge asset in meeting the common core standards of my Colorado history and economic curriculum. The students were engaged in the game immediately and didn’t even realize they were applying concepts they had learned during the instruction of the units! I especially appreciated the packet of information I received before the program that helped me prep the kids for vocabulary and more effective implementation of the program!

Suzanne Scohy

4th grade teacher, Mitchell Elementary School

I liked how it was our choice whether to risk the opportunity or not.

4th grader, Coal Creek Elementary

We LOVED the program! Our kids were thoroughly engaged and learning while having fun. Some of my boys even said, “It was worth it” when they realized they missed recess to complete the game. (That’s huge!) We will definitely book again next year.

Stacey Helbig

4th grade teacher, Centennial Academy