Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of an elementary school student.
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Classroom Profile | Lesson Background

Read this information to better understand the lesson shown in the video.

Content: California Missions
Spanish troops and Franciscan missionaries moved to what is now California and into land occupied by Native Americans to protect the parts of Mexico that had been colonized by Spain and to spread Catholicism. In 1769, Father Junípero Serra founded the first Franciscan mission, Basilica San Diego de Alcala. Over the next 54 years, 20 more missions were built along El Camino Real (the Royal Highway, or King's Road), between what is now San Diego and Sonoma.

At each mission, a presidio (fortified garrison) was constructed to provide protection. A chapel served as the center of missionary activity, and farms or ranches were established for the livestock, flowers, grains, and fruits brought by the Spanish. Native Americans who were brought to the missions to learn European farming methods were often overworked, and were forced to accept the Catholic religion and abandon many of their own cultural traditions. Many Native Americans died from diseases brought to the New World by the Europeans.

Although traces of this period in California's history remain -- in the numerous Spanish place names, in the unique adobe architecture, and in the chapels, many of which still hold services -- the missionary system ended in the 1830s. Native Americans either stayed on at the missions or returned to their villages. However, life was changed forever for both the Native Americans and the Spanish.

Students working at a computer.Teaching Strategy: Technology as a Learning Tool
Technology can contribute to any learning environment. In Mr. Rubio's class, students use the Internet, digital cameras, and computers for editing student-produced movies, demonstrating how technology is changing the way today's students research, organize, and present their findings. Technology provides opportunities to make a learning environment more student-centered, collaborative, multi-sensory, inquiry-based, and reflective. But more important, technology is making information more accessible to students and teachers.

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