• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking towards San Francisco at sunrise.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

Magic Windows

Students using Magic Windows

A teacher observes as students use Magic Windows at Point Bonita.

Using the Magic Window teaching tool facilitates a “hands-on” discussion of the essential question of our geology curricula: How do I recognize geologic change in my environment? Looking through the transparency, you can see two time periods simultaneously. The transparency helps you generate questions about how and why changes occur in the landscapes you view.

The Magic Window technique can be part of an inquiry discussion in the classroom, outdoors, or in your neighborhood. Although this teaching tool was developed for our geology curricula, Magic Windows could be used in a variety of disciplines in which time and landscape are components.

Click on the links below to learn more.

  • Download the student inquiry worksheet:
  • View a video demonstration of a Magic Window in use (coming soon).

Did You Know?

Lithograph of Ohlone headdresses by Louis Choris, 1822.

Historical archaeologists often turn to ethnographic artwork to learn more about material culture.