Unpacking the Past


The format of Unpacking the Past is currently under review for the 2021-2022 school year. In the meantime, we have many opportunities for middle school classrooms in Title I schools to receive free virtual programs. Please see our Title I Schools page for more information and to apply for sponsorship.

Explore ancient civilizations through Unpacking the Past, a program developed for 6-8th grade classes at Title I schools in Philadelphia. Students will receive an outreach lesson and a visit to the Penn Museum where they will participate in a guided tour and interactive workshop, all for free, including transportation. This program works with all the classes in one grade at any given school and has specially designed programs for self-contained AS, LSS, and MDS classes.

Select from one of the program tracks listed below:

student group in Mesopotamian gallery


See artifacts from Mesopotamia and the world’s first city-dwellers! Follow in the footsteps of the museum’s greatest expeditions to discover how civilization developed from small settlements to a globalized world. Along the way, students will try their hands at cuneiform writing and yarn spinning for a fully immersive experience.

ancient roman busts

Ancient Rome

Get an inside look into the Roman world with glimpses of daily life, politics, religion, and art. Ancient materials of marble, metal, and glass tell the stories of this influential civilization and their predecessors, the Etruscans.

students examining a chinese scroll

Ancient China

Students consider Chinese history through the lens of globalization in the ancient world. Museum educators use the Museum’s impressive collection to tell the story of how commodities and ideas traded through the Silk Road influenced Chinese daily life, history, and cultural legacy.

heiroglyphs carved into stone

Ancient Egypt

With one of the most impressive collections of Egyptian artifacts in the world, Penn Museum offers a one-of-a-kind Egypt tour including mummies, sarcophagi, and carved stone statues. Tours take visitors through our signature Egypt (Mummies) Gallery and features a new temporary Egypt exhibition.