Bay Model Visitor Center

2100 Bridgeway

Sausalito, CA 94965

Phone: 415-332-3871

Fax: 415-289-3004

3rd through 6th Grade Programs

Bay Model Tour Packet for Grades 4 - 6

Please select the above link for our Tour Packet Information

3rd through 6th grade program

Our 3rd through 6th grade programs focus on watersheds, water, tide and life cycles; map scale, and geography. On a tour of the model, from the Pacific Ocean via the San Francisco Bay estuary to the Delta, students learn place names and understand the concept of scale. Theconcept of an estuary is discussed along with the cycle of life. Students learn about tides by visualizing actual tidal currents in the model and discussing the influence of the moon and the sun.

The model is used to explain water cycle concepts such as that of precipitation, evaporation, and condensation as they occur in the nature: from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, through the Delta, the Bay, and finally the Pacific Ocean. The importance of conserving water is emphasized. Watersheds are discussed as an integral part of the water cycle. Students view a working watershed model, and discuss the importance of water quality and the role of the watershed in maintaining good water quality.


  • Students are able to locate major landforms, bodies of water and bridges in the San Francisco Bay and Delta areas and understand the concepts and interrelationships of the tide cycle, the life cycle and the water cycle.


  • Students learn the two features that make up a watershed.
  • Students learn four levels of the food chain.
  • Students learn the three features of the water cycle.
  • Students are able to name and locate two major cities and 3 bridges in the Bay Area.
  • Students learn the name for the incoming and outgoing tide cycle.

To prepare students discuss:

  • The definition of an estuary.
  • The influence of moon and sun on tides.
  • Flood tide vs. ebb tide.
  • Definition of a watershed.
  • The elements of the water cycle.
  • Phytoplankton and zooplankton.
  • The food chain.
  • The concept of map scale.
  • The geography of the San Francisco Bay and Delta.