Ranger-Led Programs

Free ranger-led programs explore the connections between people, maritime history, and the development of California.

The programs and adjoining lessons below are based on the artifacts, photographs, and ideas found in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Most lessons include pre and post-visit activities and align with California curriculum standards. To make a reservation for these programs visit Plan a Field Trip or note specific contact information below.

Please email e-mail us to receive lesson plans and supporting documents for the education programs below.

How do art and architecture reflect a community?

Centered on the Maritime Museum, rangers engage students by exploring the colorful sea-themed murals inside the building, as well as the architectural and geometric elements on the exterior that make it look like a ship. Students will then use their imagination to draw a building with an exterior design that matches the interior function (i.e. an ice cream shop shaped like an ice cream cone). This lesson includes pre and post-visit activities for the classroom.

Maritime Museum (900 Beach Street at Polk)
Kindergarten/Grade 1 and above
45 minutes
30 students maximum
Chaperone requirements: 1 adult for every 10 students
Teacher Packet Grades K-1

Standards: Soc. St. K.6, Soc. St. 1.4, Art 1.3, Art 5.3, SL. K.1 a-b, SL. 1.1 a-b, Lit. SL K.4., K.5., K.6, Lit. SL 1.4., 1.5
How do humans and the built environment impact one another?

Students act out roles of ferry passengers and crew aboard the 1890 ferryboat, Eureka, and learn how bridge and highway construction impacted communities in the Bay Area. This lesson includes pre and post-visit activities for the classroom.

Hyde Street Pier (2905 Hyde Street)
Grade 3 and above
75 minutes
30 students maximum
Chaperone requirements: 1 adult for every 7 students
Teacher Packet Grade 3

Standards: Soc. St 3.1., 3.3; RL 3.1., 3.3; SL 3.1., 3.2., 3.3., 3.4
What was the original purpose and function of the ships that are docked at Hyde Street Pier?

Students use observation skills to collect facts about the purpose of at least two historic ships, the types of cargo the vessels moved, the physical features, and the routes traveled. This lesson requires pre- and post-visit activities to be completed in the classroom.
*NOTE: All 4th grade students will receive their Every Kid Outdoors annual pass as part of this field trip.

Hyde Street Pier (2905 Hyde Street)
Grade 4 and above
2.25 hours
30 students maximum
Chaperone requirements: At least 4 chaperones

What to Bring:
-Four copies of a ship log or each student in the class, stapled in packets of four.
-Annual pass voucher for each 4th grade student in your class.

Additional classroom materials:
-Brief Ship Histories
-Historical Ship with Key
-Lesson 2 Homework
-Teacher Packet Grade 4

Standards: SL. 4.1., 4.1.2., 4.1.3., 4.2., 4.3., 4.4-4.6; L. 4.1., 4.3.1., 4.3.3., 4.3.4., 4.3.6; W 4.6; RL 4.1-4.7., 4.9-10; RI 4.1-4.7., 4.9-10;
Soc. St. 4.4
This program is specially designed to encourage a thoughtful discussion about economic opportunity and racial inequality for crews aboard the 1886 cargo ship, Balclutha. Based on research of the diverse communities who worked on the ship, rangers help participants draw parallels between the past and the present. This program is perfect for groups seeking teambuilding and is also suggested for university classes or adults.

For reservations, contact Mark Neuweld at e-mail us or (415) 561-7174.

Hyde Street Pier (2905 Hyde Street)
Grade 9 and above
90 minutes
30 students maximum
Chaperone requirements:1 adult for every 10 high school students

Standards: Soc. St. 11.2., 11.5; RH 9-12.1, 9-12.2., 9-12.3., 9-12.9; Chronological/spatial thinking 1,2,3; Historical Interpretation 1,2,3,4
Explore a historic ship on the Hyde Street Pier with a ranger-guided tour.

Discover what life was like at sea for the crew, passengers, and captains.

Hyde Street Pier (2905 Hyde Street)
All ages
60 minutes
30 students maximum
Chaperone requirements: 1 adult for every 10 students

Standards: RL 5.4., 5.6., RL 5.7; RF 5.4; W 5.1, 5.4., 5.7; SL 5.1; L 5.1., 5.4; Soc. St. 5.1., 5.3., 5.6., 5.8
This program engages visitors with visual impairments (but is open to all groups) through the senses of smell, sound, touch, and feel. Visitors will feel the large, rough, twisted as they haul lines, they’ll smell the greasy meat cooking in the galley, and hear Captain Alfred Durkee’s words from his historic journals.

Hyde Street Pier (2905 Hyde Street)
All ages
60 minutes
10 people or less

Last updated: June 18, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

2 Marina Boulevard,
Building E, 2nd Floor

San Francisco, CA 94123


(415) 561-7000
The public information office is open from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. PST during weekdays and we will respond to all messages within two business days.

Contact Us