Thursday, February 24, 2011

4th grade history: California History.

In California, 4th graders all study the California Missions. For those who are not versed in California history, the missions were churches established by Spanish priests throughout California before it became a state. The missions were supposed to help the native populations by teaching them to farm and by converting them to Catholicism.

Part of learning about the missions for many 4th graders includes building a model of one the 21 missions. I remember building mine out of sugar cubes back in the day... Now, I have a 4th grader of my own building his mission model. He chose Mission Santa Cruz.

The first buildings of Jacob's Mission Santa Cruz
The roofs of missions were build from hand made tiles. This is still a popular look in California. But, how do you get the look on a small scale? Manicotti. First you boil it until it's just soft enough to cut in half. Then you let it dry again to get the lovely half circle shape. Each one is a little different, giving it that handmade look. Then you paint each one.
Close up of the pasta, before and after painting.
Assembly of the roof, one tile at a time.
This became a family project.
The back yard of the mission. They farmed a large area around the mission. They also had lots of animals.
Jacob's fountain
We visited the actual Mission Santa Cruz. (more about that in a future blog) This is the real fountain at the current mission site.
The finished project.
The real (replica) of the mission. The original was damaged and moved a couple of times over the years. There is only one original building still standing. (More about that in a later blog too)
Consider googling Mission Santa Cruz. It has an interesting history. I am much more interested now than when I was in 4th grade. Watch for more from our trip to the mission, coming soon, when I find time...


Melissa May said...

Love it Sheri! I had seen (don't know if it was on your blog or FB) the pics of all your little roof tiles - amazing! Lowell had a lot of fun doing a mini building project. He misses doing the real thing, so it was a nice substitute. Funny that they both had the same mission! I'll have to show Mikaela... : )

Anonymous said...

We have been working on my little girls mission. She is doing Mission San Gabriel. Several weeks back we searched and nothing came up with the tiles, but now we were so happy to see yours because it gave us a good idea as well. We like the idea of cooking the past part way to make it wasy to cut. The roof is our next step. Its great fun seeing how your child can be so creative and have the opportunity of working together with them as well. Thanks again.

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Anonymous said...

i am a fourth grader and doing mission santa cruz too! my group used lasagna sheets for our roofs then painted them brick red.