Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mission Report & Projects - Fourth Grade

When you think of Fourth Grade you immediately remember doing a California Mission project. This was a time you generally spent with your Dad building something big. It generally took several days and was a time you will fondly remember...! Yikes, how do we construct a Mission? How can we make our mission realistic and different? In this post I will share with you several mission projects that were turned in which were (in my opinion) exceptional. A lot of thought and planning went into these missions and the materials the students used were generally household products! Gone are the days of the sugar cube mission! I linked each photo to the mission that the student researched, so if you click on the photo it will take you to that mission's web page.

I loved the use of the lasagna noodles as the roof for this mission! Practical and inexpensive, plus looked awesome. This student constructed the building with cardboard and then covered it with paper mache. They painted the board brown for the ground and used green roll out grass which was purchased at the local craft store in the "Mission Section." The student used modeling clay to make the fountain and purchased pink mini flowers found in the "Wedding Section" for the floral displays around the mission. Several students used pasta for their roof's. There was Mostacolli and Elbow pasta! So creative! One student used rice! How perfect was that! Looked awesome. Another student used the "exposed" side of the cardboard to show the rippled roof look (inexpensive.)

The accessory items to the Missions themselves were so creative and so easy for the students to put together themselves. One student made a fountain out of several pieces of Styrofoam. She then covered the bottom half with the roll out simulated brick paper found at the craft store in the "Mission Section," and painted the water and the green algae. She added a mossy effect with the green planting material purchased at the craft store. A student made crosses out of Popsicle sticks (as seen in the second photo from the top). A marked grave can be made from a mound of clay covered with polished rocks and a cross on top (as seen below). The sand roll out paper from the craft store can be cut and made into walkways (the photo of the first and fourth mission show this). Walkways were also made out of stones and the purchased sand you can find at the craft store. Grassy areas were either painted or the students used the roll out grass found in the "Mission Section." Clay rolled into balls and then stuffed with plastic foliage made creative potted plant displays. Another student made their entire mission out of the rectangular Styrofoam kit that can be purchased also at the craft store. If I can remember it was ten dollars for a medium sized box. I figured two boxes were probably needed and I past on this medium. But, this student created her mission and then painted the Styrofoam pieces the tan color and the terra cota color. A great site for other "accessory" ideas and using materials found around the home is this Sylvan site.

I liked this mission project because the student visited the mission and incorporated the pictures of himself at the mission onto the display board. You can see the pictures of the mission and how they compared to his interpretation of the mission. He elevated the information card on the display board so it stood out from the other pieces of information.

Can I have a favorite without hurting any one's feelings or efforts? Because I have to say this mission display was awesome. This is the San Gabriel Mission and the student (who must become an architect or thank Dad for doing his project), built the mission so the roof would come off and you could see inside the mission. You could see the pews in the church, the communion rail, and the altar with the statues. The windows were made out of clear transparency paper cut to size and the panes painted onto them. The prayer garden next to the mission was full of plants and fountains and statues. The student even had the grape vine walkway which the mission has. Truly amazing. It was like a dollhouse!

The teacher gave the students the option of building a mission with no research report, doing a research report with a shadow box, or doing a research report with a historical picture scroll. We opted to do the shadow box with the research project. I wanted my son to learn how to research a topic and then decide the best pieces of information and put it together into a well thought out paper. Which now having seen the projects the other students turned in I am glad we chose this. I had no idea the creativity that had gone into these projects. Which is why I decided to share them with you. I hope it helps in your concept of your mission. Our projects were on display the night of Open House at the school. The students received extra credit if they came in costume and each were required to man their mission and explain their project to the parents that wondered up and down the display aisles that night.

We visited three missions, the one in San Luis Obispo the one in San Juan Capistrano which you can see pictures of. We also toured the one in Carmel, which is an awesome mission in an awesome town! I love Carmel. Well, this is the end of my post all I can say is happy creating!

1 comment:

blanc said...

i need to do a project and now that u helped i'll like to say thanks


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