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.
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.
Field Trip Experiences
Through Their Eyes Facilitated Tour
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.
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.
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 6 – 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.
Sp(eye)s on Philadelphia: Life in a Revolutionary City | Grades 5 - 8
Students will step into the role of a Revolutionary-era spy and snoop through a parlor, tavern, and other 18th-century environments in our immersive discovery center, Revolution Place. They’ll rifle through papers, dig into digital interactives, test their skill in hands-on activities, and report their findings back to their spymaster, a trained museum educator. With their eyes on Philadelphia, these spies will come to see how life in the Revolutionary Era was both similar to and quite different from our lives in the present day.
Two Men and a Mystery: Sleuthing and Seeing the Cost of War | Grades 9 – 12
After two paintings by Italian artist Xavier della Gatta were found to show remarkably accurate depictions of the Battles of Paoli and Germantown – battles the artist had not participated in, in a land he had never visited – historians were left with a mystery: How did he know so much about what had happened? It took the work of multiple historians over 60 years to find an answer. Can your students find one in 60 minutes? As students examine clues from 18th-century artwork and documents, they also will explore the challenges and opportunities of being a soldier – and a survivor – of the Revolutionary War.
Bring the Museum Into Your Classroom with Revolution on the Road
Through the new Revolution on the Road program, your students can now have museum experiences right in their own classroom! A trained museum educator will bring all materials necessary to engage your students in a museum experience designed to take place outside the museum’s walls. Choose from the following programs and help us pilot Revolution on the Road in the 2019-2020 school year:
- Thinking Like a Historian
- Whose Liberty? African Americans in the American Revolution
- Feeding the Army: An Economic Dilemma
- Two Men and a Mystery: Sleuthing and Seeing the Cost of War