Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

Monthly Update sign up
Mailing List signup
LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of an elementary school student.
LINK: California Missions Home
About the Class
LINK: Watching the video
LINK: Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources
About the Class

Classroom Profile | Lesson Background

Image of Osvaldo Rubio in the classroom.

"Learning is all about owning knowledge. One way of teaching is letting the students discover their own knowledge and helping decide what is important, because if it's important to them, they'll work that much harder."
-- Osvaldo Rubio

 Year at a Glance

Osvaldo Rubio teaches fourth-grade California history at the Sherman Oaks Community Charter School in San Jose, California. Adjacent to Silicon Valley, Sherman Oaks Community Charter School is a small, neighborhood school, serving a predominantly Hispanic population. Roughly 20 percent of the students are recent immigrants. The school's charter focuses on bilingual immersion -- all students take both Spanish and English -- and on teaching with technology. Since nearly 75 percent of the families at Sherman Oaks qualify for free or reduced lunch, few have access to computers at home. All of the school's classrooms are equipped with several computers and a range of technology resources.

The school's focus on technology in the classroom meant that Mr. Rubio's fourth-grade students were already familiar with searching the Internet, using digital cameras, and making multimedia presentations. Group work was also a regular part of Mr. Rubio's class; students were accustomed to helping each other with everything from language barriers to lesson content.

Mr. Rubio's class began the year by studying California's civilization before Columbus, followed by units on the Aztecs, Native Americans, Mexican history, students' own family histories, and life in early California. The unit on missions focused on the history of California's 21 missions, immigration trends, the economy, the daily life and culture of the people, and the geography of the region. Students studied different trades and tools, located the missions on maps, and compared their own lives with how people lived in the past.

The lesson concluded with a field trip to a nearby mission, class presentations, and finally a school-wide exhibition in which students showcased their work on the California Missions unit for parents, visitors, and other students. As the unit fell near the end of the year, Mr. Rubio used the time left to explore how California has changed since the founding of the missions.

Lesson Background >>


© Annenberg Foundation 2017. All rights reserved. Legal Policy