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:
“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) and “Balancing ‘Gruesome details’ and 4th Grade Standards” (http://whenturtlesfly.blogspot.com) by Professor Deborah A. Miranda.
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.)
Pasquala, The Story of a California Indian Girl, by Gail Faber and Michele Lasagna. (This story is about a Yokuts girl in the early 1800’s in the Great Central Valley when the Spanish arrive.)
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. As a follow up, consider reading Dear Miss Karana by Eric Elliott. This engaging story is told by a 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. Also see: A Critical Look at O’Dell’s Island of the Blue Dolphins by Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo).