School Programs

History San José offers a variety of programs that meet national and state standards and spark students’ curiosity about the world. Every year more than 20,000 elementary school students join our highly trained staff on interactive excursions across our sites, from our historic homes and building in Downtown San José and History Park to scavenger hunts in our Collections Center. 

Registration

Due to COVID-19, HSJ will postpone registration for onsite school programs until further guidance from the Health Officer of the County of Santa Clara. We apologize for the inconvenience but understand that the current public health crisis takes precedence. 

We will re-evaluate our options for running onsite school programming in November 2020. HSJ has begun building new programming that adheres to current public health protocols and state curriculum standards. Once state and county officials give the green light, come back to see what we have to offer. 

Questions? Education Department staff members are happy to answer any questions you may have. Call 408.918.1040 or email education@historysanjose.org.

History Park

1650 Senter Road | San Jose, CA 95112

Early to Rise: Child’s Work and Play in Early San Jose
Grades 2-3
9:30 am – 10:45 am & 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
25-50 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio
$10 per student
When did a kid’s day begin in the late-1800s? Students have the chance to wash clothes, milk a cow, and practice writing on slates during their schoolhouse lesson. A vivid experience for kids to make comparisons between the lives of children 100 years ago and their own lives today.

Historic Transportation Experience
Grade 2
9:30 am – 11:30 am
20-35 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio
$10 per student
What were the different modes of transportation in San José during the turn of the 20th century?
Students experience the transportation of yester-year when they ride in an authentic trolley car and learn about how wheels made life easier for early San Joseans.

Immigration: What’s Your Story?
Grades 5-6
9:30 am – 11:30 am
20-35 students | 10:1 chaperone ratio
$10 per student
How do immigration policy and cultural identity shape a person’s life in San José? This innovative field trip has students step into another person’s shoes. Students discover the challenges and triumphs of REAL people and compare the immigrants’ experiences, past and present.

Grant funding available for this program through the Chinese Historical and Cultural Project.

People At Work
Grade 3
9:30 am – 10:45 am & 11:00 am – 12:15 pm
20-35 students | 10:1 chaperone ratio
$10 per student
How did people earn a living and meet their essential needs at the turn of the 20th century in San José? Students role-play, taking up the duties of printmaker, wheelwright, and doctor, in order to engage with potential career options.

Westward Ho!
Grade 5
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
20-35 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio
$12 per student
What motivated people to trek overland in the mid-1800s and what challenges did they face along the way? In this highly interactive experience classes plan and prepare for a trip West in a covered wagon. They learn about the many hardships travellers faced, the tasks they had to do to ensure a successful trip, and what kids did to entertain themselves on the trail.

Collections Center

1661 Senter Road | San Jose, CA 95112

History Detectives
Grades 4-5
9:30 am – 11:00 am
20-35 students | 10:1 chaperone ratio
$10 per student
Do your students like to search for clues, ask questions, find evidence, and solve mysteries? If so, History Detectives is the perfect program! Students do “the work” of history by actively investigating clues—primary sources and artifacts—from History San José’s collection to discover the past. Also included is a lively, inquiry-based treasure hunt through the vast Collection Center.

Peralta Adobe-Fallon House Historic Site

PA: 184 W. Saint John Street | San Jose, CA 95110

FH: 175 W. Saint John Street | San Jose, CA 95110

Adobe Days
Grade 4
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
20-35 students | 5:1 chaperone ratio
$12 per student
How did Spanish settlers adapt to life in Alta California? Transport your class to El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe as they go on an excursion of the oldest house in San José, built in 1778. During the program. Students will see artifacts and primary sources from early California and engage in hands-on activities including candle-making and creating corn husk dolls.

Victorian Days: A Family’s Life in 1855 San Jose
Grade 3
9:30 am – 12:00 pm
20-35 students | 6:1 chaperone ratio
$12 per student
What was family life in San Jose like after American statehood? Students step back in time to learn about family and community life in San José over 150 years ago. Inside the exquisite old home, students investigate and explore the lifestyles of both domestic servants and Fallon family members, dressing up in clothes of the day, playing parlor games, polishing silver, and setting the perfect table for a fancy dinner party.