Menlo News November 16, 2021

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. 

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

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!”