Mission Reports and 4th grade go hand in hand in California. I remember completing mine just a few decades ago (GULP). San Juan Capistrano was one of my first big reports as a student and I learned a lot from the process.Without revealing exactly how old I am, I will say that the bulk of my research took place at a library. (Microfiche and encyclopedias may or may not have been involved.) Although the mission assignments being presented to California fourth graders these days are similar to those many of us experienced, times have certainly changed. In my opinion, we must update the support materials to match this shift. Here are a few ideas to help you take your California Mission studies into the 21st century.
Paper-pencil still has it’s place in the classroom, but every now and again, creating the WHOLE digital experience is a must. Not only does it mimic state testing trends, but it also provides invaluable practice for schooling in high school and beyond. I suggest putting your note taking documents and/or report outlines in digital form on occasion. Doing this with California Mission studies provides a no-brainer opportunity run this way if you are game. Simply save your desired templates in Google Slides and push the link to your students via email or Google Classroom assignments.
I still fondly remember typing my very first lengthy report. It was pretty exciting. Well, why not up the digital game a bit more and provide templates that encourage just a bit more from our students?
Via digital templates, you can prompt students to hunt down photos/images that support their writing. This lends itself nicely to asking students to draft relevant captions that connect back to the report. Talk about amazing context clues practice. You also can ask for a particular format when drafting elements of a report by presenting students with templates. This allows you to indirectly review AP style, citing evidence, and more.
But, why stop here? You can offer other project opportunities in digital as well. What about a brochure? Not only does it provide real-world application of a concept, but it also creates additional computer practice. Snag this California Mission Brochure from my TPT shop.
PRESENTATIONS WITH TWIST
Oral presentations are typically part of mission reports. With this said, what about switching it up a bit and incorporating audio or visual components this year? Students still write their presentation, but the delivery will rely on a 21st century outlet. What am I getting at? My mind immediately travels to creating a commercial or news story for television or radio. Most students have a phone (or their parents do). This the only tool you need to create a video or voice memo. Not only is this an engaging and different way to present material, but it also provides a great creative outlet for sharing information. I see these playing in the background and open house/back to school night in May.
Looking to roll with some digital California Mission Studies in your classroom this year? I created a pack to help streamline the process. From guided digital outlines and note taking pages to computer-based report, project, and presentation templates, I tried to cover all the bases for you. All are also included in all of these resources in printable form as I know many of you have to share a class Chromebook cart throughout your grade level. Interested in learning more? Pop on over to my TPT shop to check out my California Mission Report packet.
On that note, I am out of here. I am desperately trying to finish up a California Mission comprehension packet (printable, digital, and AUIDO forms). Look for it to pop up within a few days! Until then, here’s to fostering some stellar mission study opportunities. I hope to see you again in the not so distant future.