Constructing models of California mission projects are both an exciting and daunting task for most fourth grade students. Fourth grade students learn about Spanish missionaries that travelled throughout California and built missions, or churches, as a way to share their religion with the natives. Students are assigned a California mission, which they must build a model of using clay, cardboard or a mission kit. Teachers place completed mission projects on display in the classroom or library to share with other students and parents upon completion.
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Cardboard Mission Project
Build a replica of a California mission with the assistance of an adult by using a cardboard box. Flatten a cardboard box and slit one side of the box with a box cutter. Lay the box on a flat surface and draw each side of the mission building on the surface of the box. Cut the walls out with the box cutter, and piece the mission together with masking tape. Set the mission on an 11-by-14 inch cardboard base and paint the mission white with acrylic paint. Paint the windows, crosses and bells with grey or brown paint.
Clay Mission Project
Create a mission building by using air-dry clay, such as Mexican pottery clay. Lay two sheets of newspaper down on a table, and roll the air-dry clay into four or more balls for each wall of the mission building. Flatten the balls with a rolling pin to create 1-inch thick clay walls and rooftops. After flattening them, cut the shape of each wall and roof from the clay by using a plastic knife. Score each wall end and the bottom of each roof with a pencil. Then fuse each wall and roof together by using water. Allow the clay to air dry for two days before painting it.
Sugar Cube Mission Project
Students seeking to create a mission project similar to the texture of adobe will find sugar cubes to be a good building medium. Purchase three to four boxes of sugar cubes from a grocery store. Refer to a picture of the selected mission and glue one row of sugar cubes to an 11-by-14 inch cardboard or wood sheet. Glue four or more layers of sugar cubes over the first row of sugar cubes, for each wall of the mission building. Sheets of brown card stock may be glued to the top of each sugar cube building to resemble a roof. Sugar cube missions may be left alone and not painted.
Precut Mission Projects
Precut mission buildings are sold to ease the stress of building a California mission from scratch. Students allowed to create a California mission using a mission kit, may purchase the kits online from websites such as Tower Hobbies, or craft stores. Precut mission building kits are made of foam core and come with pop-out pieces that students glue together, according to assembly instructions. Students colour mission buildings with paint, crayons or markers. Additional items, such as fountains and foliage may be purchased and added around mission buildings to complete the replica.
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