Mini lesson: California Missions

Visual Thinking Strategies Activity

I used Creative Commons to find these images of the different California missions. I specifically found photos featuring the main buildings so that students can compare the images. Students will use their prior knowledge of the missions and descriptive language to describe each of them. They will practice their writing skills and creativity when answering the final question.


1.) Describe the similarities between the first three images

2.) Describe the differences between the first three images

3.) What do you think is happening in the last image? Write a short story about it! (Pargaraph length)

Images Used

Mobilus In Mobili

Tim Buss San Juan Capistrano

Bryce Edwards Mission San Luis Obispo

Santa Barbara mission, Alta Calif.; 1800

2 Replies to “Mini lesson: California Missions”

  1. I remember doing Missions activities in school and I think this would be a great way to introduce talking about differences in styles and architecture that is not overwhelming yet still intriguing and thought provoking.

  2. I never did anything like this when I was in school! I think this is a fun activity that would be engaging for students. I like how you have different elements in this lesson – the different images, differences and similarities, as well as a writing activity. I would like to use this in my classroom!

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