School Program

Sánchez Adobe

Experience life on a

Californio rancho!

Discover the early use of the land and its natural resources during a grounds tour. Students are introduced to the people who lived at the site which was an Ohlone village, a Spanish mission outpost and a Mexican rancho.

In this hands-on living history program, your students will experience life on a Mexican rancho.


Students try their hand at roping a “cow” while on horseback!

Hands-On Activities

  • Take a house tour and participate in daily chores of a Californio rancho by grinding corn and roping a “cow.”
  • Make candles and learn about the hide-and-tallow trade.
  • Climb into the mud pit and make adobe bricks like those used to build the Sánchez Adobe.


  • Students will be able to identify natural resources of the area used by the Ohlone, Spanish and Mexicans.
  • Students will be identify the changing use of natural resources as inhabitants moved from the Ohlone hunter‐gather lifestyle to the Spanish agrarian lifestyle.
  • Students will be able to identify the importance of natural resources to the rancho economy.
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  • Geared to fourth graders.
  • History-Social Science Content Standards: 4.2, 4.3.
  • To protect the historic site and for better quality of programming, school programs at the Sánchez Adobe are limited to one class per program.
  • The school program usually happens rain or shine. Some modification of activities occurs on rainy days. Please note, San Mateo County Parks sometimes close during severe weather.