Parks As Classrooms
Social Studies Inquiry Programs
"How can archeology deepen my understanding of a place?"
Alcatraz Uncovered (Grades 5-8)
Excite your students about history's mysteries by using Alcatraz Island as your archeological case study. Besides being a popular national park site, Alcatraz served as a military post from 1854 to 1933, a federal penitentiary from 1934 to 1963, the site of an American Indian civil rights protest from 1969 to 1971, nesting site for thousands of birds annually, and the subject of many Hollywood movies. Students will search for clues from each historic era and draw conclusions about daily lives and cultural perspectives, and contemplate issues facing individuals within each of these time periods.
Alcatraz Uncovered uses the Understanding by Design framework, incorporates Common Core Standards and Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies.
"Does our democracy support activism or does activism support our democracy?"
Unlocking Alcatraz (Grades 9-12)
Introduce students to Alcatraz Island - a site that has witnessed the ongoing struggles to define justice and freedom - its limits and applications - for individuals, cultures, and society. Using Alcatraz Island as a departure point, students interact with primary and secondary sources that unveil contrasting views on rights of political prisoners, the American Indian Occupation of 1969-1971, and changing opinions on human rights and rehabilitation. Students determine how Alcatraz has reflected society's view of rights and freedom - who is entitled, who is denied, and why.
Unlocking Alcatraz uses the Understanding by Design framework, incorporates Common Core Standards and Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies.
Tickets for self-guided field trips are also available to public schools that have a high percentage of students receiving free and reduced lunches, and private schools with a high percentage of scholarship recipients. Tickets are available by application only for visits between November and May, excluding holidays. Applications for the 2019 - 2020 school year are now CLOSED. Applications for the 2020-2021 school year will reopen in summer 2020.
Public Schools where at least 60% of students receive free and reduced lunches, or Private Schools where 60% of students receive scholarships, are eligible to receive free tickets for visits to Alcatraz. Visits must take place between January 3 - May 15, November 1 - 15, or December 1 - 15.
In addition, academic classes must have a specific curriculum-based reason which Alcatraz offers a unique opportunity to meet. Visits that are primarily recreational in nature (including after-school groups) will not be approved under the School Access Program. Groups should not be more than 60 people and must include one adult leader (over 21 years of age) for every seven youths below the age of 18. Youths must be accompanied by an adult chaperone at all times on the island.
All island visits must begin no later than 11:00 am ferry departing Pier 33. Because of the high demand for this program, classes meeting the program criteria will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Selected groups will be directed to Alcatraz City Cruises to receive tickets.
Last updated: April 27, 2021