Fourth graders continued learning about California’s history as they conducted virtual explorations of 19th century Mexican ranchos. Their study of the ranchos began with a series of learning centers, which included looking at historical and geological maps of the Bay Area and the entire state, a video virtual tour of a rancho, articles about the practices of land granting, branding and the savage treatment of Native people, and looking at images from the past that included hand-drawn diseños (rough maps). Next, the students worked together to determine which aspects of the ranchos were worthy of preservation and which they would want to make reparations for. Finally, working in partner teams, students plotted their own ranchos on a map, wrote a petition for a land grant to the governor, cooperated to create new and improved rancho policies, and then drew a scaled diseño of their ranchos.
The fourth graders had fun “visiting” each others’ ranchos this week and sampling some tortillas and frijoles after!