Unpacking the Past connects Philadelphia’s Title I middle school classrooms studying ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia or ancient Rome with the world-renowned collections and teaching resources of the Penn Museum. All aspects of Unpacking the Past are FREE to teachers, students, and families.
Part 1: Classroom Outreach Lesson
- Experienced educators engage your students in a fun, hands-on lesson in your classroom
- Students practice the skills of observation and inference – the same skills that archaeologists use to “unpack the past”
- Students receive an overview of what to expect when they come to the Museum
Part 2: Museum Trip and Workshop
- Field trip participants ride to the Penn Museum in free buses
- Programs are led by the same educators who visited the classroom
- Students explore our Egypt, Middle East or Rome galleries with a guided interactive tour, then participate in a related classroom workshop.
- All activities emphasize critical thinking and align with the Common Core for general education classrooms or the Low Incidence Curriculum for self-contained special education classrooms
Part 3: Extend the Learning
- All students and teachers receive a free one-year household membership to the Penn Museum
- Middle school teachers can enjoy in-depth professional development opportunities.
- Our educators can bring activities and artifacts to enhance your school events, such as Back to School nights or Report Card Conference days
- Teachers can borrow an Artifact Loan Box for use in their classrooms
Please book four to six weeks in advance of your desired dates.
Praise for Unpacking the Past
“In my experience, this is the best program and trip that I’ve ever taken students on.”
“I was completely impressed with the entire staff's depth and width of knowledge!”
“I love that all of my students have an opportunity to essentially see the rest of the world at your museum.”
Funding and Donor Recognition
Unpacking the Past is made possible through a generous lead grant awarded by GRoW Annenberg, a program of the Annenberg Foundation.
This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts .
This project is supported in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Additional funding provided by the Women’s Committee of the Penn Museum, the Christopher Ludwick Foundation, the John Templeton Foundation, NEA, PECO and generous individual donors including the Estate of Ellen Cole Miller; the Estate of Neil C. Miller, Diane von Schlegell Levy and Robert M. Levy, WG74; Mrs. Louis Gerstley III, GM57; Marie A. Conn, Ph.D.; Barbara Rittenhouse; Jerry D. Levitt, M.D., C62, M66, FEL72, and Julie M. Levitt, Ph.D., C65; Mrs. Joel Bachman; and Donna Mackay, M.D. and Robert Mackay.