Religion & Spirituality - Exploring the California Missions

This Religion & Spirituality - Exploring the California Missions lesson plan also includes:

The California missions were built with the hope of converting the local Native Americans to Catholicism, but exactly how different were their beliefs to begin with? Through analysis of a series of primary source documents, young historians compare and contrast the beliefs of the Franciscans and the Native Californians.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Supplement this lesson into an upper-elementary social studies unit on the California missions
  • When pausing the presentation to ask a question, allow children to share their ideas with partner or small group before having a whole-class discussion
  • At the end of this lesson series, have students demonstrate their learning by writing a compare-and-contrast essay about the beliefs of the Franciscans and Native Californians
Classroom Considerations

  • This lesson is divided into six different parts, allowing you to teach them as separate mini-lessons or combine them together into a longer lesson, whatever best fists your class schedule
  • Whenever discussing religion, be sure the class is clear about the expectation that they be respectful toward beliefs different than their own

  • Questions are provided for guiding class discussions at certain points during the slide show presentation
  • Paintings, a creation myth, and audio recordings are included in the presentation as primary sources
  • Provides numerous facts to share with learners during whole-group discussions

  • None