• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking across the bay back towards San Francisco, seen in the distance.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

Rocks on the Move at Point Bonita: Teachers' Resource Page

Intern Anh Nguyen working with a student during a Rocks on the Move presite.

Intern Anh Nguyen assists a student during a classroom presentation

NPS Roxi Farwell

The information and links on this page are intended to help teachers prepare their students for the Rocks on the Move field program.

If you have scheduled a classroom presentation with one of the Rocks on the Move educators, please review the types of tectonic plates and boundaries before we come to your classroom. Have your class complete the magic windows activity. We will guide your class through the Franciscan rocks with edible geology. We will include a discussion of the geology of the Golden Gate Headlands and geologic mapping. Our staff will bring all materials for the presite, including our edible geology worksheets and candies.

 
Students walking down the Point Bonita Trail during a Rocks on the Move program.

Students walking down the Point Bonita Trail during a Rocks on the Move program.

NPS Tim Jordan

Before your visit to the Marin Headlands:

Post the advertisement flier of the Point Bonita Geologic Investigations in the classroom and give all your students a chance to read the flier. Assemble your class into three investigation teams, and ask each team to rank the top three investigations they are interested in exploring during their field program. Select a different investigation for each team, and try to select each team's top-rated choice whenever possible.

Once the teams have selected an investigation, hand out a team investigation form to each team, and help them complete the form. Make sure each team formulates an informational question and a critical thinking question about their investigation. Bring these forms with you when you come to the field program at Point Bonita. The National Park Service staff will incorporate a discussion of the students' questions during their investigations.

Important note: Park Service staff will lead two of your class investigation teams. You will lead one of the teams during their inquiry investigation. All of the investigations are within sight of each other, so park service staff will always be on hand to assist you and your team during their investigation. We have provided investigation notes for you to bring with you on your class program day.

Please read the Rocks on the Move program roles and responsibilities as you prepare for your field excursion to the Marin Headlands. In addition to the program day checklist, you may find these files useful to download:

 
Interns Rebecca Nourot and Anh Nguyen lead cookie tectonics during a Rocks on the Move program.

Interns Rebecca Nourot and Anh Nguyen lead cookie tectonics activity.

NPS Roxi Farwell

During your visit to the Marin Headlands:

On the field program day at Point Bonita, each team will complete an inquiry of the investigation site their team selected in class. Students record their observations on a geologic investigation map. We will collect maps at the end of the field program and hand them back to you before returning to school.

While some aspects of the field program vary due to weather and trail conditions, all programs entail walking outdoors. Students may experience fog, wind, and rain. Please remind your students to dress in layers and wear sturdy walking shoes that can get muddy. Remind your students to bring a bag lunch. We have picnic tables or an indoor facility during lunch time.

 
A graywacke sandstone cliffs with a rainbow in the background.

Graywacke sandstone cliffs at Rodeo Beach

NPS Suzanne Garcia

After your visit to the Marin Headlands:

Hand out the student geologic investigation maps from the field program. Since no single team will have gathered enough data to complete the entire map, students should work in groups, with members of all three teams, to share data and complete and color their maps.

You may wish to have your class produce one large map on butcher paper, using our map template, or have students produce individual maps. Encourage students to include all observations on their map, such as wildlife, plants, weather conditions, or nautical events. Expect the finished maps to vary, depending on the colors used, and student field observations.

Once the maps are completed, guide a class discussion with the following questions:

  • How will the geologic processes I observed at Point Bonita change my investigation site in the future?
  • Can I find evidence of similar geologic geologic processes at work near my community or school?
  • What new questions do I have about geologic processes in my environment?

Return to Rocks on the Move (Home)

Rocks on the Move curriculum guide

Point Bonita geologic investigation sites

Rocks on the Move tectonic vacation project

Did You Know?

Recycle symbol

Recycling and composting your household waste can reduce your carbon emissions into the atmosphere by more than one ton a year.