The blogs listed here provide background information and appropriate classroom lesson/activity suggestions for teaching about the Mission Era in the California Native American Unit of study. These resources are especially useful for fourth grade.
“Repeat after us, say no to the mission project.” from California History-Social Science Project at UC Davis; http://chssp.ucdavis.edu/blog/mission#.
“Dear Sierra: An Open Letter To California Fourth Graders” http://badndns.blogspot.com/2015/ by Professor Deborah A. Miranda. Click here for more about alternatives to the Mission Project.
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese
The following well researched historical fiction books offer the native perspective in the Mission Era:
Mission The Birth of California, The Death of a Nation, by Margaret Wyman. (This book is about the Kumeyyay experience during the mission years.)
Lands of our Ancestors Book 1, by Gary Robinson. (This is the story of a Chumash tribe’s experience when the Spanish priests and soldiers arrive and the devastating consequences.) A Teacher’s Guide is available to accompany the book and provides a variety of standards based appropriate activities across the curriculum. Resources-Lands of our Ancestors Books
Many 4th grade teachers use Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell as a class literature study during the Native American unit of study. Please read: A Critical Look at O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins by Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo). Consider Dear Miss Karana by Eric Elliott. This engaging story is told by a present day ten year old Native American girl living on a reservation and attending a reservation school in Southern California. The story links the the life of Karana, the lone woman, and the native world today. This story is a rich resource of native culture and language and connects the past with the present.