1st Grade Field Trip to the Los Altos History Museum

Updated: Apr 29


After learning about our community history for one week, we made our trip to the Los Altos History Museum. During this trip we focused on the three main characters in Los Altos history: the Ohlone tribe, Juana Briones, and J. Gilbert Smith. The concepts of present and past were reinforced by this field trip as well.

We first went to the second floor of the museum to see the history of our community. In the room about early Native American tribes, students were interested in the natural materials they used to make clothes and build houses. After the docent's introduction, and our own exploration, we wrapped up our findings in Mandarin. Then we moved on to see the explorers of the west. We listened to the docent tell us about Juana Briones’s story and the disappearance of Native Americans. Then we had a little break playing with traditional clothes and an apricot rolling game. We were so happy to dress up like they did in the 1800s and “ride” on the “horse” bike.


Observing the materials from the past and present at the same time stimulated our minds to wonder how mighty the time is.

We sat down and let the docent tell us the story about apricot orchards in Los Altos. We read about the process of planting apricots; the products made by apricots; and the importance of trains in delivering the products to other places. It was fun to see the toy train moving in front of us and to look for the 21 moving objects in the setting.


We went to J. Gilbert Smith’s house to see life in the early 1900s. It was a very eye-opening experience for us and it was definitely a great way to learn about present and past. From the doorbell to the washing machine, life was so different from today. Our students asked many good questions and our knowledgeable docent was challenged as well. For instance, why we did not have toothpaste but tooth powder in the bathroom? Because they did not have plastic yet!


Finally, we gathered together under the big old tree outside of the house and shared our learning today.

Special thank you to our parent volunteer, Julius, who read a fun interactive book with us and was very helpful and supportive through the trip. Thank you very much!

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