A major highlight for California fourth graders everywhere? Studying California missions. The study of Spanish missionaries and their impact on the lives of Native Americans is no easy tale. History is messy. However, our fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Torresluna does a fantastic job leading students in thoughtful conversations about the good and bad that came out of this time period. What better way to practice critical thinking than to discuss history!
The entire unit of study culminates in a mission project, which includes a report about a California mission and a replica about the mission they chose. Students research the lives of the people who occupied them and learn about life inside of the mission. They then use STEAM skills to build a diorama. Exercising their creativity and problem solving, this project challenges the whole child!
As part of this study, students had the opportunity to visit San Juan Capistrano mission, which celebrates its 243rd birthday this month! Students inspected irrigation and farming areas, grinding stones, living quarters/barracks, and more. They even had the opportunity to light candles in prayer for their friends and family in the Serra Chapel. Thank you, Mrs. Torresluna for organizing such a rich and important field trip. Thank you parents who chaperoned and learned alongside your children!