Parks As Classrooms School Programs

Sparking Curiosity | Inspiring Learning Encouraging Action

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Parks As Classrooms

PARKS AS CLASSROOMS are set in ancient redwood groves and dramatic coastal preserve, indigenous habitats and historic landmarks. The programs actively engage young people and encourage achievement through place-based pedagogy and authentic experiences in a national park. The goals and principles of the K-12 program confirm Golden Gate’s commitment to inclusive and relevant inquiry-based learning linked to school curricula and students’ home communities.


You and your students have four ways to participate in Parks As Classrooms:


  • Inquiry with the Ranger—facilitated programs
  • Investigate on Your Own—self-guided
  • Service Learning—applied skills
  • Electronic Toolkits—online inquiry



* Inquiry with the Ranger programs require attendance at a Teachers’ Workshop.

** One class per program only. Scholarships for buses may be available.


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Parks As Classrooms supports California’s Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. Student materials are available in Spanish and Chinese for certain programs.


INQUIRY WITH THE RANGER

Sensible Habitats | Grades K–1

Is it alive? From hillside to bayside, the environment around Fort Point displays an intriguing diversity of plant and animal life. Students engage in activities that help them develop an appreciation for terrestrial and aquatic habitats. They observe, describe, and compare the wildlife to be found, from songbirds to rock crabs.


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Petal Pushers | Grade 3

Bring your knee-high naturalists to the Presidio Native Plant Nursery for an A-Z indigenous plant adventure. Students will gain a stronger understanding of plant adaptation and

life cycle while growing their own healthy stewardship ethic. A fun and effective way to connect your class to nature and ecology!


Into the Redwood Forest | Grades 3–4

Your students immerse themselves in the magic of Muir Woods National Monument, which preserves one of the last remaining old-growth redwood forests in the Bay Area. These clue- seeking scientists pose questions, look for evidence, and communicate explanations under the canopy of the redwood trees.


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Point of Inquiry | Grade 4

At the straits of the Golden Gate sits Fort Point, an enduring symbol of Gold Rush San Francisco. Your history sleuths will investigate all corners of this massive brick and granite fort to imagine life at the bluffs of the city. Then, they hike the nearby trails and join in group games. Co-sponsored by the Presidio Community YMCA.


Alcatraz Uncovered | Grades 5–8

Excite your curious archeologists with Alcatraz Island as their very own case study. Alcatraz served as a military post, a federal penitentiary, the site of an American Indian civil rights protest, and the subject of Hollywood movies. What traces can be unmasked with careful observation and inference?


Rocks on the Move | Grades 6–12

Take your class on a hike on the ancient seafloor and explore how human history and geology interact. Students study the global geologic forces that formed the Bay Area landscapes, and then come to the Marin Headlands to unveil how these forces are recorded in local rocks and discover evidence of human influence on geologic processes.


Nuclear Reactions | Grades 11-12

Your students enter the gates of a Cold War era restored Nike missile site that reflects a pivotal period in world history with resounding implications for today. They explore the grounds and consider—How can we protect both our borders and our ideals?


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Unlocking Alcatraz | Grades 9–12

Challenge your emerging high school political scientists to consider the impact of activism on the American Justice System and Civil Rights in the late 20th century. Focus on the compelling stories of the Native American Occupation of 1969 and political prisoners held on Alcatraz.


SERVICE LEARNING

Talking ‘Bout My Regeneration | Grades 6–12

The park is thriving and so can your students as they join NPS staff and volunteers in restoration work in the nursery and in the field. Students experience the direct relationship between classroom science and the ecological and horticultural concepts used in national parks. Limited to one class. Individual students may apply for opportunities. For reservations, please call 415.561.3077


Investigate on Your Own

Rings, Ripples, & Echoes | Grades K–5

K-5 species spotters venture on a magical journey through Muir Woods and other natural communities along the Redwood Creek Watershed. Please see park website for details and materials. For reservations, please call 415.289.1832.


Artillery, Bricks & Co. | Grades 3–5

Artillery, Bricks & Co. sends crafty time travelers in search of everyday life in 1860s Fort Point as they uncover the stories of the soldiers, laundresses, stone masons, and more. Please see park website for details and materials. For reservations, please call 415.561.2829.


DISSONANT VOICES

Seeking issues-based historic inquiry online? Dissonant Voices provides an array of dynamic topics rooted in the park and the San Francisco Bay Area. Lessons are designed to provoke students to pose meaningful questions, and construct their own interpretations of historic events using primary sources as evidence. Please check our website during the year for more resources. www.nps.gov/goga/forteachers


How to Register

Please complete the Program Request Form

QUESTIONS

If you have any questions or need assistance, please email: Lynn_Fonfa@nps.gov.

Applications accepted until October 12, 2013.


ONLINE INSTRUCTIONAL GAMES

Subduction Construction | Grades 6-12

Solve the geologic mystery of how rocks in the Golden Gate cliffs formed millions of years ago. Use this virtual investigation to collect rock samples in the field; examine and identify laboratory samples; and, piece together a subduction zone, layer-by-layer in geologic context.


Nature Detectives | Grades 3-5

Experience the sights and sounds of Muir Woods from the very tall to the very small as you uncover how living things survive in the redwood forest. Your challenge—What needs Fog? When a Tree Falls in a Forest, Plant Invasion, or Crustacean Frustration.


Crissy Field Center is a partnership of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Presidio Trust and the National Park Service. www.parksconservancy.org


Parks As Classrooms

PARKS AS CLASSROOMS are set in ancient redwood groves and dramatic coastal preserve, indigenous habitats and historic landmarks. The programs actively engage young people and encourage achievement through place-based pedagogy and authentic experiences in a national park. The goals and principles of the K-12 program confirm Golden Gate’s commitment to inclusive and relevant inquiry-based learning linked to school curricula and students’ home communities.


You and your students have four ways to participate in Parks As Classrooms:


  • Inquiry with the Ranger—facilitated programs
  • Investigate on Your Own—self-guided
  • Service Learning—applied skills
  • Electronic Toolkits—online inquiry