Engage your students with the dramatic story of America's Founding in a revolutionary way!
The American Revolution was dramatic, dynamic, lofty, gritty, tenuous, and full of uncertainty – it was anything but dry and inevitable! Educators and students are invited to explore this rich and complicated era - and its connections to our world today - through hands-on and virtual encounters with objects, documents, stories and people both in the museum and online.
The Museum’s flagship in-gallery experience Through Their Eyes invites young people to explore the major causes and events of the American Revolution through the eyes of the men, women and children who lived through it. As they study objects, documents and ideas, students consider questions such as: Who were the Revolutionaries? How revolutionary was the war? What kind of nation did the Revolution create? Through Their Eyes is suitable for grades 4-12, is led by highly trained Program Facilitators and can be adapted to suit different needs and abilities.
Themed classroom-based programs provide a more in-depth look into particular themes. These include Thinking Like a Historian, Feeding the Army: an Economics Dilemma and Whose Liberty?: African Americans in the American Revolution. Special programs offer opportunities for deeper engagement and debate. A multimedia Timeline of the American Revolution and an online Virtual Field Trip in partnership with Scholastic extend our work beyond the museum's walls.
Teacher professional development experiences and pre- and post-visit materials offer resources for educators to dig deeper into stories of the nation's founding and draw meaningful connections to today's world.
Explore the links below to discover more, and sign up for our Educator Newsletter for the latest updates on our resources and opportunities!
Through Their Eyes Facilitated Tour
We all know that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Ben Franklin helped lead the American Revolution, but what about the everyday men, women and children who also helped create a new nation?
In this 75-minute, facilitator led exploration of select museum galleries, students will work to see the Revolution through the lens of real people of the Revolutionary Era while moving through immersive environments and examining artifacts, documents and dramatic tableaus.
To prepare for a trip:
Hamilton Was Here Student Experience
Open October 27, 2018 through March 17, 2019, Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia invites students to explore the life of Alexander Hamilton right here in the Delaware Valley! Through playful interactives, scenic environments, and facilitated games, students will actively engage in the challenges of founding and maintaining a country and will be inspired to carry these lessons forward as they face the challenges of citizenship today.
Educators, choose one of the following experiences for your students:
The Money Madness Challenge | Grades 5 and 6
A nation can’t survive on ideas alone and Alexander Hamilton desperately wants the United States of America to survive. But there are a million and one challenges facing the new nation and they all boil down to money! In this hour-long facilitated experience, students will have fun exploring Hamilton’s Philadelphia right here in the museum, completing challenges, solving puzzles and figuring out which decisions will help get this young country headed down a path to economic success.
Becoming Hamilton | Grades 7 and 8
How do you become one of 18th Century America’s most loved and hated men? How do you rise from a childhood of abandonment and poverty to become one of the most powerful men in a brand new nation? In short, how do you become Alexander Hamilton? In this hour-long facilitated experience, students will explore how a “young, scrappy and hungry” teenager from the islands used hard work and luck to create a future for himself and his adopted nation. With scenes of 18th Century Philadelphia as their backdrop, students will discover the challenges Hamilton faced and the decisions he made as the nation came of age. Throughout, they’ll ask themselves, did he get it right?
Free Exploration | Grades 9 – 12
Students will explore the experience’s five main areas and delve into Hamilton’s life in the military, as a political figure, and as the architect of our nation’s financial system. They will navigate through playful interactives, scenic environments, and games. Museum education staff will be on-hand to answer questions and help students get the most out of the experience.
Teacher Resource Pack (Grades 4-12)
Download and use the following materials - including eight thematic overviews with accompanying overviews, modular activities, high quality images, and additional resources - to enrich your students’ experience as pre-visit preparation, post-visit reflection and extension, or both!
Add More to Your Visit!
Extend your students’ museum experience beyond the galleries with engaging and hands-on thematically-focused activities based in our museum’s classrooms. These experiences can be added on to a gallery tour or can be booked as stand-alone activities (paired with an opportunity to view a dramatic film in one of our museum theaters).
Thinking Like a Historian | Grades 4 - 12
Historians use objects, documents, and contextual knowledge to build an understanding of the past. In this experience, students will do the same, using their eyes, hands, and critical thinking skills to explore what objects and documents can tell us about the past.
Whose Liberty? African Americans in the American Revolution | Grades 9 - 12
For legally enslaved men, women, and children, the turbulent 1760s-1780s provided moments of both opportunity and frustration. In this hands-on program, students will use artifacts, documents, and activities to discover how African Americans sought freedom for themselves and their families, whether that meant supporting the Revolutionaries…or the British.
Feeding the Army: An Economics Dilemma | Grades 7 – 12
How did the Continental Army get the food it needed to stay in the field against the mighty British Army? This is an experience about supply and demand, of scarcity, of currency, and more. In this activity, students will interact with objects, read the words of soldiers and generals, and play a game of chance and knowledge as they explore one of the most complex challenges of the Revolutionary War.
Resources & Opportunities for Students
We support student learning and excitement about the Revolution through a diverse set of resources and educational opportunities. Keep reading to find the right fit for your classroom or club.
Virtual Field Trip
Go behind the scenes at the Museum of the American Revolution and learn more about our objects and the stories they tell in this virtual field trip hosted by Lauren Tarshis, author of I Survived the American Revolution, 1776. Joined by curator Matthew Skic and educator Adrienne Whaley, Lauren discovers dramatic stories and evocative personal artifacts that make real the people of the Revolution.
Click here to learn more or to view the virtual field trip.
Multimedia Timeline of the American Revolution
Explore the American Revolution from its roots in the 1750s through a multimedia timeline showcasing original artwork, weapons, clothing, manuscripts and rare books from the Museum’s collection. See high quality images of a diverse set of artifacts and watch as a museum curator shows off a few of his favorite items!
Click here to explore the Multimedia Timeline
Debating Independence Historical Simulation
Was American independence from Britain inevitable in the 18th Century? Who were the Continental Congress delegates who debated independence and what was on their minds as the summer of 1776 approached?
High school students are invited to step into the shoes of the Second Continental Congress in a day-long historical simulation at the Museum of the American Revolution. Participating students will be assigned a delegate in advance of the program and will be asked to come ready to think and speak as that historical figure. Through small- and full-group conversations, delegates will be asked to argue their ideas, support their reasoning, and convince their peers to declare independence…or not! Will the outcome be the same? The delegates will decide!
Students may participate in one these upcoming simulations:
- March 20, 2019
Free boxed lunches and transportation passes are provided to all participating students. Teachers may also opt-in to a free highlights tour of the museum for their students at the conclusion of the simulation experience.
Teachers must register their students in advance, and, in order for students to meet their peers from other institutions, schools are limited in the number of students that may attend.
To register, contact the Museum at email@example.com.
This program is presented in partnership with the Foreign Policy Research Institute.
Resources & Opportunities for Educators
We support teachers with access to high quality educational resources and engaging and effective professional development opportunities. Scroll down to see which option is best for you.
Save the Date!
Friday, April 12, 2019, 1-3pm
Making the Revolution Relevant
Join your fellow educators at the Museum for an afternoon of activities and discussion exploring why the Revolution matters – or should – to students today and how we can all work to use primary sources and engaging experiences to create connections between past and present.
This teacher workshop is presented in partnership with the School District of Philadelphia (SDP). Space, however, is available for teachers from other districts. Act 48 credits will be awarded to participating educators. SDP teachers should RSVP by visiting www.philasd.org and registering through Cornerstone. Non-SDP teachers should register by clicking here.
Teacher Resource Packs
Use our modular pre- and post-visit materials – including thematic units, high-quality images, contemporary connections and provocative questions – to round out your students’ visit to our museum. Can’t visit? These activities can easily be incorporated into your current classroom plans.
Share examples of your lessons or student work with us on social media (@AmRevMuseum) or through firstname.lastname@example.org!
Available Now: Hamilton Was Here: Rising Up in Revolutionary Philadelphia (Grades 4 – 12)
- Through Their Eyes: Major Causes and Events of the American Revolution (Grades 4 – 12)
- Declaring Independence: The People Speak (Grades 4 – 12)
Lead Education Sponsor of Through Their Eyes and Hamilton Was Here
Scholarships for disadvantaged students are underwritten by The 1830 Family Foundation, The Bergman Foundation, the Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation, Lisa and Arthur Berkowitz, and CHUBB.
The Connelly Foundation provides scholarships for regional Catholic school students visiting the Museum through its Connelly Access Program.
Education at the Museum is supported by gifts from the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation and the Charles F. and Mary R. Lindback Foundation.