Lisa Leonard Designs

san gabriel mission

June 16th | adventures, family

steve spoke at a graduation ceremony last week at the san gabriel mission. david won’t sit still quietly enough during a ceremony like that, so i took the kids outside to play. we didn’t actually pay to go inside the mission, but we roamed the grounds and it was so beautiful!

roaming the grounds can also be interpreted to mean ‘chasing after david’. that kid is fast!

we were with friends and all the kids had so much fun exploring. such a contrast between the old historical buildings and the silly, colorful kiddos.

that’s an old mill stone, which can also be used as a launch pad.

we saw lots of iron work, adobe and brickwork.

since i was killing time, while steve spoke, it was great to be in a lovely place where we could soak up a little history.

in california, we study the missions in 4th grade. there are 21 missions in california–built by the spanish to convert the native americans to christianity. the history of missions is very mixed–you can read more about it here.  i remember learning all about them, making adobe bricks, candles and building a model of mission san juan capistrano.

you weren’t expecting a history lesson today were you?!  do you remember any special units you studied in elementary school? what do other states learn about?

20 Responses

  1. Katrina says:

    I lived in Cali until 4th grade and totally remember learning about all the missions. Then we moved to Oregon where they teach about the Oregon Trail. It’s funny how they teach such different history lessons depending on the state you live in.

  2. Nina says:

    Growing up in AL and GA myself, it is so funny to see my kids learning about Lewis and Clark here in Missouri–big emphasis on Westward expansion!! My husband is from TX and I believe you could say his state history ed. was more of an indoctrination re: the superiority of TX over any other state :):):)

  3. Shaunna says:

    i did the same type of project in fifth grade, we had to pick a mission, study it or visit it, and then build a model of it. i chose the one in monterey because that was my most favorite place to go as a child. they are beautiful and full of amazing history. i loved it and hope to one day take my kids to one on vacation.

  4. Cris Marsh says:

    I grew up (and still live) in Indiana. Our history lessons involved learning about frontier life, living on the prairie, making soap, jam, etc. In the 4th grade we took a field trip to Conner Prairie

  5. Nicole says:

    Being from Oregon, the Oregon Trail was a huge subject we studied all the way through elementary school. We even did a mock Oregon Trail – where each student was given a new name, family members, oxen, food, etc and we had to “make it” all the way to Oregon. Some students “died” along the way, some did not. It was a blast! And such an important lesson to learn about Oregon’s history.

  6. Sarah-Anne says:

    beautiful pictures, lisa!! i want to go there soon…ish. 😉

  7. What gorgeous pictures! I’ve visited one of the missions before — I can’t remember which — it was beautiful!

    As a kid in elementary school, I think I best remember the Science Fairs…

  8. Sandra says:

    In the great state of Oklahoma we study land runs! We reenacted one on the play ground in 4th grade. We also study Native America history, focusing on the Five Civilized Tribes. I’ve even been to the spot when Geronimo jumped!

  9. Julie says:

    In NYS we learn about the Erie Canal, the Native Americans (specifically the Iroquois with their longhouses), colonies, Dutch settlements in New York, etc. We even went on a trip to the Erie Canal and rode on a barge down the canal pulled by horses!

  10. Kelli says:

    In Connecticut, it was all about the Revolutionary War and…vikings. Yes. There were viking sites that we would visit. Seriously! We’d walk down little-used trails through the forest and come upon little mounds that were man-made caves. You could go inside and see a little slit for a window. On certain days of the year, the sun shines right in the hole. It’s a cool thing. The Revolutionary War stuff was fun because it involved trips to Boston. Ahh, to be so close to those cities! I miss it!

    The mission looks to be a serene place. Love it.

  11. Melanie says:

    i lived in michigan until 4th grade — we learned all about the great lakes, the erie canal, log cabins, and the native americans who had lived there.

  12. gitz says:

    there is something about those pictures of matty that make me smile and wonder what he was thinking :)

  13. Amy says:

    Oh mu gosh I am so excited about your post. We lived in So Calif until I was 10 and we went on Mission field trips and made those brikes. When we moved to the midwest no one could relate my love of the adobe. LOL I can’t wait to go check out your link as I am not sure which ones I have visited. The one that stands out the most is the one where it is build into the side of the mountain. Would love to figure it out. Loving your blog…I am a new follower. :)

  14. sandy johnson says:

    I grew up in Alaska. Of course, we studied the buying of Alaska, the writing of the state song, and the designing of the state flag(by a young boy in a orphanage in Seward Alaska). We all learned the state flag song and I think that every elementary school child in Alaska can sing it!

  15. sarita says:

    i remember when my older son had to make a missioin – he made santa barbara mission – he and a friend used sugar cubes to make the building – found out that elmers glue ate the sugar! so used yellow carpenters glue..then found out later they had my youngest son (who was probably – 6-7 at the time)eat the sugar cubes that had started to melt from the glue! i’ve decided i don’t want to know what else they have done with and to each other! that was after finding out they had put the youngest in the washer! oh please don’t tell me anymore!!! :^)

  16. Dawn says:

    I LOVE the history of the missions in CA. I grew up in MI, but right after getting married, we moved cross country to Southern CA. My husband taught in high school, and I taught 4th grade. I had to teach about the CA missions, so I learned right along with the kids about CA history and the missions. It was probably more interesting for me sometimes than for them! :o) The 4th graders had a field trip to San Juan Capistrano – one of my favorites. Reading your blog brought back so many memories for me. We lived in CA 7 1/2 years, and then moved to IL to be closer to family. We’ve been in IL 30 years already. And as far as missions, my husband and I really enjoyed the missions in San Antonio, TX in the spring of 2010. There are several. You would probably enjoy those too, Lisa. I love to walk through the missions and imagine living there, what life would have been like. Thanks for sharing this on your blog today, Lisa.

  17. Nancy says:

    In Ontario, Canada, kids in grade 3 learn about pioneers and what life was like in the 1850’s. It isn’t until gr. 6 that they learn about native Canadians and the effects of European immigration. Gr.4’s learn about medieval times and in gr.5 they focus on ancient civilzations such as Egypt, Greece, China etc.

    I find it interesting to read what each state studies and it never occured to me that it would vary so much. You learn something new everyday!

  18. Melissa says:

    I grew up in SoCal and remember studying the missions, visiting San Juan Capistrano! We made our model missions out of sugar cubes using toothpaste as the mortar because it didn’t dissolve the cubes.
    I also remember studying the Gold Rush and building models with toothpicks.
    Now I am raising my family in CO and the big unit they study is Colorado historical figures, Molly Brown etc.
    Thanks for the memories!

  19. Lori says:

    I was married at the mission in San Juan Capistrano!
    I grew up in San Juan, and I live in Georgia now. I just roll my eyes when they make such a big deal about Georgia history. Such a small state in such a big world.
    Anyway, I did enjoy those projects. I never built a mission though. I guess because we lived so close to the mission we never took a school field trip there either.
    I just love where you live, and I always enjoy seeing the sights through your posts. We used to camp every year at El Capitan State Park, right under the trestle bridge. The trains would go right over us at night. Wanna house swap sometime? I have a nice little house in the woods about an hour north of Atlanta :).

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