Educational Programs

Educational Programs Update:

Until further notice we are unable to offer on-site field trips at the Banning Museum. We encourage you to visit our Digital Education page for links to our virtual education videos and activities. We will update teachers periodically via email so please join our teacher email list below! We hope to welcome you back in-person soon! 
Coming soon: Free Classroom Packages-Delivery of Activity Booklets, Art Project Supplies and Banning Museum souvenirs to your school. More information to come!


Virtual Field Trips

The Banning Museum is proud to offer a series of educational programs designed to engage and inspire the students who participate. Thousands of schoolchildren both locally and throughout Southern California take part in our programs each year, and it is our goal to provide them with memorable experience that will instill in them a love of history that will last a lifetime, and an appreciation of the important role Southern California played in the growth of our nation.


Evolution of a Town School Program- Third Grade

This 2  1/2 hours program addresses the California State Standards for the Historical and Social Sciences Analysis Skills for third grade. Developed for students whose curriculum includes local history, “Evolution of a Town” focuses on the changes that occur in a city’s development with an emphasis on Phineas Banning as the founder of Wilmington. The students learn about the past and the present and relate to the future by rotating into four different activities:

  • A House Tour: See how an American family of European decent lived during the mid 1800’s.
  • Barn Tour: Visit the Barn and learn about the different aspects of ranch life; then play a relay trivia game
  • Garden Tour: A guided tour of the grounds Learn about the plants in the park.
  • Improbable Gateway Tour: Tour the lower gallery in the museum and learn about the evolution of transportation in Los Angeles.

Living History School Program- Fourth Grade

Our traditional school program for fourth graders focuses on California State history. Activities led by a docent teach what one early California pioneer accomplished for his adopted state. Learn what life was like for a child during this time period. Four activities are completed in the two hours of the field trip:

  • Tour the Banning Residence and see what life was like during the Rancho Days.
  • School Marm teaches an 1880’s school lesson in the one-room school house.
  • A Game, similar to bingo, reinforces the information the students learn during the field trip.
  • The Barn: Learn about a working ranch and play traditional games.

Banning Heritage Week- Fourth Grade

Banning Heritage Week is a fun, hands-on, learning experience for fourth graders. The students participate in five activities throughout the day:

  • Tour: A docent will walk the students through the house. Emphasis is on daily life in the 1880’s.
  • School Lesson: Museum “School Marms” will conduct a school lesson typical for the 1880’s. Students will sit on benches and perform lessons on slates with chalk.
  • Dances of the 1800’s: Students will be instructed on how to dance traditional dances of the 1800’s. This was an important part of growing up in the late 19th Century.
  • Hands On Chores: Students will participate in typical chores of the 1800’s by churning butter and washing clothes with a wash board. Students will have a chance to sample the fruits of their labor and enjoy a fresh snack. They will also take home a small sample of hand-made soap.
  • Blacksmith Demonstration: Students learn what Blacksmith does on a ranch through a real life demonstration.

This 2.5 hour program is very active and informative. We send a pre-packet to all visiting teachers. Some of the material can be used for post-field trip activities.