Teachers Guide to The Last Misson

Introduction letter: You might begin this lesson off-line by making copies of the letter for each group. The signature line was left off intentionally so that you might sign it with a pen to make it appear more authentic. .

The Task: This is an overview of the students' task. Take time to go over this section with your students to prevent groups from wasting time moving in the wrong direction.

How to Begin: and Timeline: Timelines are terrific tools to use with fourth graders in long projects. Give your students as much time as you can, but check in with them on a scheduled basis to allow you to redirect. The timeline is best set by you. Not all groups will move at the same speed. Take in consideration access time to computers for resource search.

Student Research Tips: If this is your students' first exposure to the internet, a review of this section is a must! Before you have them save pictures and bookmark sites make a decision where you want things saved (floppy vs. hard drive) and how you want things labeled (group name or number followed by a descriptor).

Links: Review the guidelines included in the links section with your students. If you are sharing computers between groups there is a good chance that they will be visiting the same sites. If there is time, have students judge the sites for their usefulness. The time you spend on sharing and evaluating sites may be saved in reducing the amount of time spent on viewing web sites with limited use. Try these sites for evaluation tools and resources.



http://fromnowon.org/jun97/eval.html #graded

Using your research findings: Analyzing found information is an important step in moving students from basic recalling information to higher level thinking. Their new Mission plans will be easier to formulate when they have a clear understanding of past Missions.

Your Mission: Determine if your students have enough time to include a layout or illustration of their Mission on their site.

How you will be graded: The rubric was included as a sample and should be adapted to meet your needs. Students should be included in the creation of the rubric descriptors.

Presentation Rubric: Many teachers like to create rubrics with their students. I have included a sample rubric for those who are not familiar with this valuable tool. A sample completed rubric can be found here. A blank copy can be found here.

Grade 4: California, a Changing State
History/Social Science Content Standards

Students learn the story of their home state, unique in American history in terms of its vast and varied geography, its many waves of immigration beginning with pre-Columbian societies, its continuous diversity, economic energy, and rapid growth. In addition to the specific treatment of milestones in California history, students examine the state in the context of the rest of the nation, with an emphasis on the U.S. Constitution and the relationship between state and federal government.

4.1 Students demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California by:

1. explaining and using the coordinate grid system of latitude and longitude to determine absolute locations of places in California and on Earth

2. identifying the state capital and describing the basic regions of California, including how their characteristics and physical environment affect human activity (e.g., water, land forms, vegetation, climate)

3. identifying the location of and explaining the reasons for the growth of towns in relation to the Pacific Ocean, rivers, valleys, and mountain passes

4. using maps, charts and pictures to describe how communities in California vary in land use, vegetation, wildlife, climate, population density, architecture, services, and transportation

4.2 Students describe the major social and political interactions among the people of California from the pre-Columbian societies to the Spanish mission and Mexican rancho periods, in terms of:

1. the major nations of California Indians, their geographic distribution, economic activities, legends, and religious beliefs; and how they depended upon, adapted to and modified the physical environment by cultivation of land and sea resources

2. the Spanish exploration and colonization of California, including the relationships among soldiers, missionaries and Indians (e.g., biographies of Juan Crespi, Junipero Serra, Gaspar de Portola)

3. the mapping, geographic basis of, and economic factors in the placement and function of the Spanish missions; how the mission system expanded the influence of Spain and Catholicism throughout New Spain and Latin America

4. the daily lives of the people, native and nonnative, who occupied the presidios, missions, ranchos, and pueblos 

Grade 4: Language Arts Standards

Research and Technology

1.5 Students quote or paraphrase information sources, citing them appropriately.

1.6 Students locate information in reference texts by using organizational features.

1.7 Students use various reference texts by using organizational features (e.g. prefaces, appendices)

1.8 Students understand the structure and organization of (and use) almanacs, newspapers, and periodicals.

1.9 Students demonstrate basic keyboarding skills and familiarity with the vocabulary of techonolgy (e.g. cursor, software, membory, disk drive, hard drive)

1.0 Listening and Speaking Strategies: Students listen and respond critically to oral communication. They speak in a mannor that guides and informs the listener's understanding of key ideas, using appropriate phrasing, pitch, and modulation.

Organization and Delivery of Oral Communication:

1.5 Students present effective introductions and conclusions that guide and inform the listener's understanding of key ideas and evidence.

1.6 Students use traditional structures for conveying information (e.g. cause and effect, similarity and difference, and posing and answering a question)

1.7 Emphasize points in ways that assist the listener/viewer in following key ideas and concepts.

1.8 Students use details, examples, anecdotes, or experiences to explain or clarify information.

1.9 Students use volume, pitch, phrasing, pace, modulation, and gestures, appropriately to enhance meaning.


Anderson Dooley-Miller
Resource Specialist
Napa Valley USD

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