Building a California mission a fourth grade tradition almost everyone remembers.
For Wasuma Elementary School fourth grade teacher Elaine Alger's students, the mission study curriculum consisted of two components: a written report on one of the 21 missions of California and building a model replica of the mission.
Class members presented short oral reports about their chosen mission to their classmates prior to parents, families, and fellow Wasuma students viewing their models.
MacKenzie Henkis' Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa was constructed from foam board while Cleo Norlander's Mission San Francisco de Asis was built using plaster and given a corrugated cardboard roof.
Lasagna noodles painted to look like tile formed the roof of Tessa Butcher's Mission San Luis Rey de Francia. Mouths watered when anyone got near Jordyn McCully's gingerbread Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo as they did near Vanessa Miller's Mission San Diego de Alcala that not only had a red licorice roof but also had a tiny light shining from a window in the model.
The fourth graders also wrote seven-paragraph reports detailing the history of their chosen mission. In between the required opening and closing paragraphs, information about the founding of the missions had to be included. Students had to give information about when their mission was founded, what kinds of materials were used in its construction, and any problems that were encountered such as earthquakes, fires, revolts, or floods.