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Mission Model
Many teachers have seen the unhealthy competition placed on students during a Mission Model-Making process. Parents that recognize that the authenticity of the child's product and his or her understanding of the concepts are the true objective are often looked down upon by parents that have spent hours and hours making the model of their child's mission accurate in scale and enhanced to the smallest detail. Teachers may understand that the self-directed student spent hours on their own creating a masterpiece with sugar cubes and pasta but it may be difficult for the students to see their home-made creation compared with a purchased kit put together with little to no student understanding the night before the project was due.

Alternatives could include requiring students to create the missions from household materials, or keeping the project in the classroom and providing students with time and materials to complete the project at school.

An even better question may be what is the objective met by the Mission Model project, what standard is being addressed? Is the student able to explain why their mission was built in its particular shape, what features are unique, and what functions each part of the mission had? Answering those types of questions will help teachers verify that students have met the stated objectives and applicable standards.

Mission Report
Whether on paper or done in Hyperstudio or Powerpoint, it is crucial that students be the true authors of their reports. A mission report is the perfect project to reinforce information literacy skills, tour the library and its resources, and begin note-taking skills. These skills mesh well with language arts standards and the classroom is the perfect place to guide students in their research abilities. The real question is what is more important, process or product? Authentic assessment of students' progress requires evaluation of student created work.
    Mrs. Weber's Lesson Plan Ideas
Compare & Contrast (Graphic Organizer) Ideas
Threats to the Continued Survival of the Missions

Geography/Weather Differences Between Missions

Native Americans' Daily Lives Before/During/After the Mission Period

California Missions Integrated Unit Overview
California Missions Unit Culminating Project
Lesson Plan & Rubric - PDF Format

Lesson Plan - Microsoft Word Format

Rubric - Microsoft Excel Format
Missions-Related Website Evaluation Webquest
Webquest Homepage
Other Interesting Lesson Ideas
Creative Teaching with Historic Places #1

Creative Teaching with Historic Places #2

Pacific Bell's (Formerly SBC and Now AT&T) Missions Website

Exploradores Espacoles en America

Changing Borders: Missions to Ranchos

Houghton Mifflin Social Studies: Oh California, Unit Activities and Resources (Missions are under Unit #2)
Note: Other Resources are available depending on the version of Houghton Mifflin Social Studies Text, click here for the directory of textbooks.