University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Unpacking the Past Program for Philadelphia's 7th graders at the Penn Museum

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.

Program Information

Kids Learning

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
Kids Learning

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
Kids Learning

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.”

Charlene Jablow, Shawmont Elementary School

“I was completely impressed with the entire staff's depth and width of knowledge!”

Amanda Dunn, Girard Academics and Music Program

“I love that all of my students have an opportunity to essentially see the rest of the world at your museum.”

Justin Guida, Philadelphia Charter School for Arts and Sciences

Donate Now

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.

learning unpacking GRoW logo

Additional funding provided by:
Marie A. Conn, Ph.D.
Albert A. Ciardi III, W88
Kristin Davidson, CGS84, GED88
Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation
The Freeman Foundation
Ghislain Gouraige, Jr., C80, and Marjorie P. Gouraige, PAR
Donald C. and Ingrid A. Graham
Anna Sophocles Hadgis, CG70, G85, and Nicholas J. Hadgis, Ph.D., PAR
Christopher Ludwick Foundation
Morel Family Foundation, Lauren Bayster-Morel and Donald Morel, Jr., Ph.D.
M. Mulroney, CW57, PAR
National Endowment for the Arts
The Philadelphia Cultural Fund


GRoW Annenberg Program Manager


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