The City As Classroom

Middle school language classes took to the streets of San Francisco for two exciting field trips filled with new cultural experiences and hands-on learning. 

Students in Mandarin Chinese class broadened their horizons with a field trip to San Francisco’s Chinatown. A longtime resident gave a walking tour of the neighborhood, where students learned about the history of San Francisco Chinatown and Chinese immigrants in the US., as well as the impact of COVID-19 on the present-day community. Students enjoyed an authentic takeout lunch followed by free time to explore the streets and businesses of Chinatown.

Across town on another day, seventh grade Spanish students enjoyed a trip to the Mission District, where they explored the beautiful murals of Balmy Alley and considered the social justice issues depicted in the murals and affecting the neighborhood. After a taquería lunch, students competed in a fun neighborhood scavenger hunt.

Teacher Katie Barad shares, “I love taking my students to San Francisco’s Mission District. It is so close to Menlo, yet it has such a different atmosphere. The students learned so much by observing the murals, learning about issues that affect the Mission, and exploring the neighborhood … it is such a valuable experience for the students to get out into the nearby communities, and it is also so much fun!”

Save and Share

  • Middle school Mandarin Chinese students enjoyed a field trip to San Francisco’s Chinatown. Photo by Cyrus Lowe.