Members of the fourth grade class with their many mission concepts.
OLG pupils take on project:
Create a 22nd mission church
Fremont's Our Lady of Guadalupe School fourth graders were recently called upon by their teacher, the Archbishop of 1818 and the Oakland office of Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, with an important task — to create a 22nd California mission.
Margie Chu, OLG fourth grade teacher, decided to take the standard fourth grade "mission project" to a creative and challenging new level and the end results were amazing.
Chu asked her students to work in teams of two in order to create a new mission that was either built in the 19th century or the 21st century. The pairs that chose the 19th century received a letter, dated in June 10, 1818 from Archbishop Fonte, requesting that a 22nd mission be built anywhere in the northern part of Alta, California. Based on their knowledge and history of the area, students were asked to explain how the mission will help meet the goals for this part of the world.
The pairs who opted to build a mission built in the 21st century received a letter, dated Nov. 23, 2013 from Bishop Barber, requesting that their mission be built anywhere within the Diocese of Oakland, and required it fulfilled the current needs of Oakland as well as the people of California.
"The 19th century missions were extremely detailed incorporating functional necessities of the time, such as tanneries and looms. The 21st century missions combined modern day necessities with visionary concepts," Chu said.
One mission appropriately titled "Mission Verde" was designed to be an ecologically "green" mission. Amenities included: solar panels, a garden roof top and a way to funnel rain water to warm the floors.
According to the fourth grade architects, Brandon Estacio and Simon Thurthiyil, "The purpose of Mission Verde is to teach people how to live without damaging the environment and how to make the best use of God-given natural resources."
Pupils were asked to present their missions, summarize their project experience and provide feedback for the third graders taking on this task next year.
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