The Mission San Diego Team 1My daughter is in fourth grade, and in social studies she has been learning about the Spanish Missions of California. Twenty-one missions were built in California between July 16, 1769 and July 4, 1823: The first one in San Diego, and the last one in San Francisco. A really fun part of the studies was Mission Building Day in mid-January. During a four-hour period of time the students – with the help of parent volunteers – constructed a model of one of the Missions.

Our group of seven children and two adults were assigned to build the San Diego Mission. Knowing this ahead of time, I suggested a family excursion to the actual Mission to experience it in person. We kept the destination in secret from my daughter though, and it was a pleasant surprise for her when we pulled into the parking lot and she recognized the building. Of course, Disneyland would have been a much bigger surprise, but she appreciated this trip as well. 🙂

Both my daughter and I took lots of pictures, and we studied the layout of the Mission. We were even able to visit the church, since we arrived just before the end of a mass. This Mission is a working parish church.


The Bell Wall
The Bell Wall

Pieta Garden
The Pieta Garden


The Water Fountain at Mission de Alcalá
The Water Fountain in the Courtyard


For Mission Building Day I printed out lots of pictures, and I placed them on two display boards. Our group studied the pictures first, and we discussed the layout and the features. I saw the kids continually going back to the pictures while constructing the building, and that definitely made my day. The mission turned out great, and so did the other ones built by all the fourth graders. It was an awesomely messy project!

The Mission San Diego Team
We Are Done!

Mission de Alcalá
Our Mission on Display at the Library


The Missions at the Library
All the Missions on Display at the Library

Ending on a technical note: The images of the Mission in this post received a Photoshop treatment, and I really like them this way. I used a Filter Forge filter, namely the Sketchy Painting one, to create the effect. I love the look of texture blended photos, and I’m hoping that this software – with its thousands of filters – will help me create some great pictures in the future.

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