University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Classroom Workshops at the Penn Museum..

Delve further into the ancient world with a workshop! Experienced museum educators lead your students through hands-on activities that explore aspects of past cultures. Students learn how to use artifacts as primary sources that contain clues to understanding the ancient world. Props and replica artifacts give students of all abilities and ages interactive learning experiences.

Select from the following programs:

Elementary School Learners (Grades: K-4)

Preparing for Eternity: Egyptian False Doors
What did the inside of an ancient Egyptian tomb look like? What did people take with them into the afterlife? Students learn about hieroglyphs, tomb offerings, and false doors—ancient Egyptian passageways between the worlds of the living and the dead. Students then create their own false doors by drawing hieroglyphs, ancient Egyptian art motifs, and the things they’d take into the afterlife.

Roman Marketplace
Do as the Romans do and take part in an interactive ancient Roman marketplace. This workshop highlights social interaction, emotional response, and functional mathematics in a simulated marketplace. Students wear togas, handle reproductions of ancient artifacts, and use all their senses to shop the Roman market using differentiated budgets.

NEW! Make a Lasting Impression: Cylinder Seals
Discover what life was like in ancient Mesopotamia through the study of cylinder seals. These tiny stone artifacts function as the earliest known signatures, and the names and images on these objects tell us about the identities of ancient people. Students create their own cylinder seals and impress them into “clay.”

Middle School Learners (Grades: 5-8)

Digging Up Rome
How do archaeologists interpret artifacts? Photos and video footage tell the story of Penn Museum excavations of the ancient Roman world. Students practice archaeological site interpretation, handle replica artifacts, and make observations and inferences to draw conclusions about the people that lived there.

Making a Mosaic
Discover the artistry of Roman mosaics in this hands-on workshop where students learn about the various forms of this decorative art and how ancient artisans created them. Students will work in small groups, then as a class, to create a mosaic comprised of over 4,000 tesserae. The workshop also incorporates geometric equations and binary operations.

Mummy Makers
Ever wonder how and why the ancient Egyptians mummified their dead? Learn how to be an ancient Egyptian embalmer and prepare Mr. Ulysses Penn for his journey to the afterlife! Using fabricated mummies, students will explore mummification through each step of the process, including brain removal, evisceration, desiccation, and wrapping. This workshop is demonstration-based and uses life-like mummies.

Preserving the Past
What role does a conservator play in preserving the past? In this workshop, students will explore core practices of conservation by viewing examples of conserved artifacts from the Museum’s collection and learning about the science behind deterioration and preservation. Students will then adopt the role of conservator and apply their skills in a series of hands-on conservation challenges.

NEW! We are What We Wear: Adornment in the Ancient Middle East
What is material culture and what can it tell us about the lives of people from the ancient city of Ur? This workshop takes students on a journey from discovery to display as they learn how use close observation and questioning to piece together the past. Students will work together and use both evidence and their imaginations to create a unique display of their archaeological findings.

High School Learners (Grades: 9-12)

The Carbon Clock: Radioactivity and Archaeological Dating
Museums, textbooks, and documentaries are filled with important dates, but where do these come from? Dating artifacts by measuring radioactive carbon-14 plays an important part in our understanding of the past. Students discover the links between science and history while using their critical thinking and Algebra/Trigonometry skills to interpret an ancient site.

NEW! Ceramics Lab: The Science of Craft
The Museum has thousands of Middle Eastern ceramic artifacts, but how do we learn about the society that made them? In this workshop, students will analyze a coffin through observations and a variety of scientific techniques. By comparing their data to those of other Middle Eastern pottery, students will not just practice using science to discover the technical details of an artifact, but will understand how craft is a social act that can teach us about ancient people.

Access Programs

The Penn Museum welcomes all types of learners to participate in Interactive Workshops. New Access programs include the Roman Marketplace, In Touch with Ancient Egypt, Touch Tours and Workshops, and a Faces Tour. Visit our Access Programs page for more information.

Teacher Programs

Do these programs sound like fun for educators or adults? Book your professional development experience or an adult group workshop.

Booking Information

Ages See Workshop Descriptions
Length 1 hour
Price $125 per workshop plus group admission
Group Size 30 student maximum
Timing Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
When to Book At least 6-8 weeks in advance


Learning Programs Department


© Penn Museum 2019 Sitemap | Contact | Copyright | Disclaimer | Privacy |