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Mission San Juan Capistrano has developed tools and resources that can serve both educators and students who are currently impacted by school closures. As the Mission has traditionally been a rite of passage field trip for fourth grade students, many of these resources have been designed in support of fourth grader learning standards, however we also have virtual tours and activities to be enjoyed by all ages. Mission San Juan Capistrano is dedicated to posting new content to support our teachers, parents, and students throughout the community and offer fulfilling digital educational experiences.


Virtual Tours and Experiences

Live Guided Virtual Field Trip

During this interactive virtual tour experience a Mission guide will lead your class on an exclusive tour of the Mission, exploring history and highlighting special historic artifacts and one-of-a-kind Mission locations such as the Serra Chapel and the Ruins of the Great Stone Church. This program is a private experience for the class/school that has booked and will not be open to other classes/schools to join. This program is designed to be taught as a Zoom Meeting experience (where students can see and hear each other) for groups of up to 70 students at a time. Program aligns with CA HSS (3.2.1 ,3.2.2 ,3.2.4,
 3.3.1, 3.3.2; 4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6).

Offered: Monday and Friday
Duration: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Platform: Zoom
Capacity: Maximum of 2 classes of up to 35 students each per session
Cost: $140 as part of the entire Virtual Field Trip Package


Live Online Art Lessons

Offered every other month on the second Friday of the month

Subjects of these classes focus on various areas of the Mission such as the gardens, the Serra Chapel and the corridors. Past materials have included charcoal, watercolor and pastels. To follow along with these livestreams, visit the registration link to view the recommended art supplies.

Online Art Lessons are led by Mission Staff Artist in Residence Melanie Rayburn. These classes are designed to be enjoyed with family, friends, and classmates. They accessible to people of all ages and levels of experience and are a fun, interactive learning activity.

Upcoming Online Art Lesson: Watercolor Mission Poppies
Date: April 8, 2022
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Cost: FREE! Online event – Register for this class by clicking the link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_kxZA5KXNTJa6Ervz1t4Iog


360° Architectural and Historical Views Video Series

Experience the history and beauty of the Mission as if you were standing here! From 360 degree sweeping views of the Mission grounds to up close, never before seen views of architecture and artifacts, you’ll see the Mission from every angle in 28 video clips. These can be viewed on a computer, mobile devices or VR headset.

Duration: Approimately 3 minutes (per video clip)
Platform: Vimeo
Cost: FREE

Looking for a virtual experience for your school group? Learn about our distance learning programs.


Online Audio Tour

The online audio tour features music, history and storytelling bringing to life the “Jewel of the Missions.” Tour aligns with CA HSS (4.2.1, 4.2.3, 4.2.4, 4.2.5, 4.2.6).

Preview the Audio Tour (English):

How to Use the Audio Wand
Stop 1

What is a Mission? — Founding Document
Stop 2 Additional Information

Mission Agriculture — Olive Millstone
Stop 3


Digital Lectures

Junípero Serra: The Myths, the Man, and the Statues
Presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz

Run Time: 1 hour and 23 minutes  

This special digital lecture presented by Dr. Robert M. Senkewicz, a professor emeritus of History at Santa Clara University, tells the multifaceted story about Junípero Serra, his history, and delves into why he is still a topic of conversation today. In developing our more inclusive historical perspectives and interpretive efforts, we rely on such impressive advisors such as Robert Senkewicz and all academics who have researched and published numerous books and articles on early California history. We believe inclusivity will allow our visitors to draw their own conclusions of what it felt and meant to be a priest, a soldier, a Native American, a post-secularization Catholic, a man, a woman, or child of that time.


Online Resources

At Home Lessons, Crafts and Activities

Fourth Grade History and Social Science Lessons and Activities

The following lessons and activities are aligned with the California History-Social Science Framework and Content Standards but are appropriate for all elementary aged students.

All about Cattle Brands

Activity: Make Your Own Cattle Brand
Reading: Dig Deeper Into Cattle Brands

All about Plein Air Art

Activity: Make Your Own Plein Air Art
Reading: My Plein Air Story


Mission Passport

A children’s educational tour booklet produced by Alphabet House Publications, which features a walking map, interesting historical facts, and games that teach about Mission history. This learning tool is included for free with all student tours and features a guide that students can work from during their visit. Available for purchase at the Mission Store in person or online.


Mission Report Resources

Educational resources are available to teachers, students, and parents who want to learn more about the California Mission system and the crowning “JEWEL,” Mission San Juan Capistrano. Supplement your learning experience with our interactive and informational guides, specifically tailored to meet California History-Social Science Standards, the Next Generations Science Standards and California’s Common Core State Standards for 4th grade history.


Educational Events

Mission San Juan Capistrano is pleased to offer both onsite and virtual events for a day of learning and fun for all ages. Join us online for a virtual Earth Day from butterflies and bees, to gardening, and celebrating Native American traditions, there’s something to learn for everyone or plan to visit us in person in the fall when we recognize Indigenous People’s Day and celebrate the history and culture of the local Acjachemen people by ringing the historic bells. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to view livestream events or explore our past digital events in our video collection.


Educator Newsletter

The Mission has developed a new newsletter for educators to help with tips for learning remotely, learning onsite, and extending the learning impact for educators all year long. Sign up to receive our educator newsletter by emailing iherrera@missionsjc.com.

Past Issues
February 2022
October 2021
August 2021
June 2021
April 2021
January 2021
November 2020
September 2020


Additional Resources

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Tuesday - Sunday, 9AM - 5PM

Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Closed early Christmas Eve and Good Friday.
Hours subject to change

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26801 Ortega Highway
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-1300

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