Mission San Luis Obispo Project Ideas

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The following project ideas are intended to help give your students room to personally explore and engage with the history and significance of the Mission San Luis Obispo.

The Mission San Luis Obispo

The Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa is a mission church in California. It is a functioning parish church today as well as a monument to California's Spanish/Mexican history and an important architectural icon. The following project ideas can help your students learn more about this mission church in creative and unique ways. These projects are designed to be adaptable to middle school or high school grade levels.

Mission San Luis Obispo Project Ideas

National Historic Landmark Application

This project can be completed by students independently or in groups. Students are going to create an application and pitch to have the Mission San Luis Obispo recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Students will start by researching the history, architecture, and cultural significance of the mission, including important people and events associated with this place. Students must also research the National Historic Landmark designation and application process in order to understand what evaluators will be looking for.

With their research, students will write up a formal report aimed at persuading official evaluators of the need to have the Mission San Luis Obispo recognized as a National Historic Landmark. You can also ask students to present their pitch to the class.

  • Materials: Research supplies, writing supplies

Historical Fiction

For this project, students are going to create a complete work of historical fiction that is composed of five distinct short stories. In the spirit of James Michener's Centennial, each short story is going to focus on the Mission San Luis Obispo at a different time in history. This could include a story about Native American tribes of the region before the arrival of the Spanish, a story about setting up the mission, a story about the mission in the early Mexican republic, a story about the mission in late-19th century California, and a story about the mission in the 20th or 21st century (or today).

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