Teacher-Led Programs

The Park offers free teacher-led programs for school groups of all ages. These programs allow teachers to design and lead their own field trips. Curriculum resources are based on the artifacts, photographs, and ideas found in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Rangers provide pre-visit educational activities that will enhance your group’s visit to the Park.

All groups visiting the Park must make a reservation at least two weeks in advance. Visit Plan A Field Trip to learn more.

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


Maritime Detectives on Hyde Street Pier
These worksheets help guide students as they explore historic ships on Hyde Street Pier. By observing each ship’s form, students will determine its function. They will also and compare and contrast the ships to learn more about the maritime history of the San Francisco Bay. (Grades 3 and up)

Harbor Master's Ledger
Use this handout with your class to explore Hyde Street Pier. While walking along the pier, students act as the harbormaster and make an inventory of pier conditions. This includes noting which vessels are in port, wind speed and direction, sky and water conditions, and wildlife sightings. (Grades 3 and up)

California and the Sea
This curriculum is designed for pre-visit classroom time and will enhance your group’s visit to the Park. Many lessons included address the California History-Social Science Framework 4th Grade, “California: A Changing State.”(Grade 4 and up)

Housed in the Park's 1908 historic brick cannery warehouse, the Visitor Center exhibition tells the stories of voyage, discovery, and cultural diversity of San Francisco’s waterfront. Through interactive displays, historical artifacts, and engaging exhibits, the Visitor Center takes students on an historical journey of San Francisco. Learn more about our award-winning exhibits.

Change and Continuity
Help your students explore the Visitor Center with activities that focus on change and continuity in the Bay Area through the years. This standards-based jigsaw activity is designed for small, onsite groups. Students create a visual timeline as they begin to understand San Francisco’s maritime history. (Grades 3 and up)

Voyages Curriculum
The six lessons in this curriculum explore the connections between people, maritime history, and the development of California. These lessons are designed for pre-visit classroom time and will enhance your group’s visit to the Park. This standards-based curriculum connects to the 4th grade theme, “California: A Changing State” by addressing the essential questions:

-Why did different groups of people decide to settle in California?
-What were their experiences like when they settled in California?
-How did the region become a state and how did the state grow?

Maritime Artifacts
Use this worksheet in the Visitor Center to help your students to investigate historical artifacts! (Grades 3 and up)

Additional classroom activities (Grades 3 and up):
-Sailors’ Crossword
-Shape of Ships
-Lighthouse Haiku

The Maritime Museum is located in a National Historic Landmark and is a short walk from Hyde Street Pier. The building was constructed in 1939 as a joint project of the City of San Francisco and the New Deal Works Progress Administration. Covered in period murals, the Maritime Museum provides an immersive art and history learning experience.

The Aquatic Park Bathouse Building and the New Deal: A Palace for the Public
How is the Maritime Museum bathhouse building a reflection of the New Deal and was it a successful in meeting its goal?
Students work in groups to gather information about the Works Progress Administration artists and the artwork from the Maritime Museum bathhouse building. With the help of primary and secondary sources, internet research, and rangers, groups will dive deep into the stories behind the artists and artwork; the community’s relationship to the project; and the longer term impact of the building.

Maritime Museum (900 Beach Street)
Grades 9 and above
60-90 minutes on-site
30 students maximum
2-3 class periods pre and post-visit
Chaperone requirements: 1 adult for every 10 students (ratio can be lower, but at least one teacher is required.)

Additional materials:
-WPA and the Maritime Museum lesson 9-12
-Evidence Collection Form
-Primary Sources SF Chronicle 1939 WPA
-Sea Murals
-Sea Letter Summer 2016

In addition to our curriculum resources, use a "How to Read an Object" evidence collection worksheet or the Library of Congress Primary Source Analysis Tool for student-guided inquiry lessons.

Last updated: November 27, 2017

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.

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