School Programs

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Teachers, join us for our annual Presidio ​Teachers’ Night!

2016 - 2017 School ProgramsEducationa​​l Experiences for Students K-12

The Presidio serves as an active outdoor classroom for students and teachers. Drawing on the natural and cultural heritage of the park, our school programs offer authentic, real-world learning that support 21st century skills.

Dedicated to quality and equity, the Presidio Trust provides free educational programs for grades K-12.

We connect youth to the park with immersive experiences that inspire and empower new possibilities.

KIDS on Trails (Grades K-2)

KIDS ON TRAILS on the Ecology Trail explores the park’s outdoor natural resources. The program encourages sitebased learning, investigation and recreation through an introductory slideshow in the classroom and guided walk along the Ecology Trail. Students use their senses and observation skills to see, hear, feel, and record their learning and experiences. Kids on Trails offers fun, trail-based activities that introduce the concept of ecology through observation and documentation of flora and fauna, and patterns and cycles in nature including weather and biodiversity. Concepts such as habitat, survival, and human impact are also explored. The program culminates at Inspiration Point, a scenic overlook along the Ecology Trail, with stunning views of the bay and the Presidio.

Grades: K-2
Cost: Free
Time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours

  • Common Core State Standards English
    Language Arts
    SL: K – 2; RI: K – 2; RF: K – 2 & W: K - 1
  • History Social Science State Standards
    K.4; 1.2
  • Next Generation Science Standards
    K-LS1-1; K-ESS2-1 – 2; K-ESS3-1;
    1-LS1-1– 2; 2-LS4-1
  • Physical Education Model Content
    1, 3, 4 & 5: K - 2

Registration is currently full for the 2016-2017 school year. ​

Sign up to be notified when registration opens for the 2017-2018 year >>​

Thingamajigs and Whatchamacallits (Grades 2-3)

THINGAMAJIGS & WHATCHAMACALLITS introduces students to the field of archaeology and provides them with an opportunity to explore past cultures by comparing and contrasting artifacts. Students learn the basics of archaeology and then excavate simulated dig boxes filled with replica artifacts. In small groups, the students classify their artifact assemblage according to color, size, material, and function. Lastly, they use their observation and inference skills to determine which culture (Ohlone, Spanish, or American Military) their assemblage came from. Teachers have an option to extend the program by including a nature hike where students learn about native plants and their uses.

Grades: 2 - 3
Cost: Free
Time: 1.5 hours (3 hours with hike)

  • Common Core State Standards English Language Arts
    W 2.2; W 2.8; SL 2.1; SL 2.3; SL 2.4; SL 2.6; L 2.1; L 2.4; RI 3.3; W 3.8; SL 3.1; SL 3.4
  • Common Core State Standards Math
    2.MD.D.9; 3.MD.B.4
  • History Social Science State Standards
    2.1.1; 2.3.2; 3.2.2; 3.2.4; 3.3.1; 3.3.3
  • Next Generation Science Standards
    K-2-ETSI-2 & 2-PSI-1
  • Physical Education Model Content Standards (with hike)
    Grade 2: 3.1; 3.6; 5.7 Grade 3: 3.7; 5.3; 5.6
Registration is currently full for the 2016-2017 school year. ​​However, there are still limited spots available for Title I schools. ​

Title I school application for the 2016-2017 school year >>

Sign up to be notified when registration opens for the 2017-2018 year >>​​

​​​Tennessee Hollow Watershed Trekkers (Grades 3-5)

Place-based learning enhances classroom learning. In this program, learn why watersheds are so valuable to Presidio plants, animals, and people. The Presidio’s natural areas are an extraordinary educational resource for lessons on plants, wildlife, geology, and ecology.

The Tennessee Hollow Watershed includes natural springs and ponds, coastal scrub, serpentine grassland, coastal redwood, and sand dune habitats, in addition to the Presidio’s historic forest. Newly restored to interpret a rich natural and cultural history, this valley provides immersion in nature and wildlife viewing opportunities.

The Tennessee Hollow Watershed Trekkers program includes the following experiences:

  • A fun, sensory hike where students journal as they learn about unique native plant and wildlife species
  • Exploration of the concept of watersheds
  • Participation in an environmental service project where students are engaged in improving the park for plants, wildlife, and humans
  • Hands-on activities where students explore the biological relationships that make up our local ecosystem

Grades: 3 - 5
Cost: Free
Time: 3 hours (includes 30-minute lunch)
Location: Inspiration Point Overlook

  • Common Core State Standards English Language Arts
    W.1; W.2; W.3; SL.1; SL.3; SL.5; RF4; L1; L6
  • Next Generation Science Standards
    3-LS4.C; 3-LS4-3; 3-LS4-4; 3-LS2.C; LS4.D; 4-LS1-1; 5-PS3-1; 5-PS3-1; 5-LS1.C
  • Physical Education Model Content Standards
Registration is currently full for the 2016-2017 school year. ​However, there are still limited spots available ​for Title I schools. ​

Title I school application for the 2016-2017 school year >> 

Sign up to be notified when registration opens for the 2017-2018 year >>​​​​

Excavate History (Grade 4)

EXCAVATE HISTORY focuses on the Spanish colonial era and teaches students how archaeology can help us discover more about the people who once lived at El Presidio de San Francisco. Through a series of hands-on activities, students investigate how the arrival of the Spanish colonists changed the natural and cultural landscape of the area. In small groups, students rotate through three stations:

  1. Making Adobe Bricks – Students learn how the colonists built their houses.
  2. Hiking the Ecology Trail – Students uncover what the landscape of the Presidio once looked like and imagine living here at the time of colonization.
  3. Cataloging an Artifact – Students analyze a real ceramic artifact in the Presidio Archaeology Lab and interpret its past function.

Grades: 4
Cost: Free
Time: 4 hours

  • Common Core State Standards English Language Arts
    SL 4.1; SL 4.4; L 4.1; L 4.3; L 4.4; L 4.6
  • History Social Science State Standards
    4.2.2; 4.2.3; 4.2.4 ; 4.2.5
  • Physical Education Model Content Standards

Apply for the 2016-2017 school year >>

Living Poetry (Grades 8-12)

LIVING POETRY focuses on the young soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for their country through the poem “The Young Dead Soldiers” by Archibald MacLeish. This moving and heart-felt program gives students the opportunity to better understand the outcomes of war, experience the poem firsthand, and connect personally with soldiers who have been laid to rest. This program includes a visit to the historic San Francisco National Cemetery, located in the Presidio. Students work collaboratively while making connections and comparisons to the soldiers’ and their own lives.

Grades: 8 - 12
Cost: Free
Time: Approximately 2.5 hours
Location: Presidio Officers' Club, 50 Moraga Avenue

  • Common Core State Standards English Language Arts:
    • ​8.RL.1, 2, 4 & 5; 8; 8.W. 3, 4, 5, 6; 8 & 9; 8.SL.1, 2, 4 & 5; 8.RH.6 & 7; 8.WHST.1, 2, 4 & 7
    • 9 – 10.RL.1,2 , 4 & 5; 9 – 10; 9 – 10.W.3, 4, 5 & 6; 9 – 10. SL. 1,2,4,5 & 6; 9 – 10.RH.3, 4, 5 & 7; 9 – 10.WHST.1, 2, 4, 7 & 9
    • 11 – 12.RL.1, 2, 4, 5 & 7; 11 – 12.W.3, 4, 5 & 6; 11 – 12.SL.1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 6; 11 – 12.WHST. 1, 4, 7 & 9
  • History Social Science State Standards:
    • 8.10.7; 10.8.6​

​​Apply for the 2016-2017 school year >>​ ​​