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150+ Philadelphia Lesson Plans to Prepare for a School Trip

Philadelphia Lesson Plans

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How can I get my students even more engaged during our trip to Philadelphia?

Philadelphia is the perfect place to explore science, American history, and art in more depth.

Many of the sites that you will visit in Philadelphia have developed lesson plans aligning with national standards. Provide a deeper appreciation for the places you will visit by exploring a focus topic in the classroom prior to the trip.

See an example of a 3-day customized Ben Franklin Philadelphia itinerary

See a sample of a 3-day Philadelphia itinerary

Philadelphia Lesson   Plans

National Constitution Center, Lesson Plan Topics Include: 

  1. 9/11: A Nation Remembers 
  2. A Hero for Liberty 
  3. Address America: Your Six-Word Stump Speech 
  4. Art of the American Soldier: Stories from the Soldiers
  5. LArt of the American Soldier: Comparing and Contrasting Photography and Painting in War Art
  6. Bill of Rights
  7. Born in the USA: Music as Political Protest 
  8. Breaking Barriers
  9. Citizenship and Character: Moderation Finding the Balance
  10. Creating a Modern Day Propaganda Poster
  11. Creating Your Own Town Hall Poster
  12. Debate It!
  13. Declaration of Independence and Acts of Courage
  14. Destination White House
  15. Fourth of July
  16. Free to Be You
  17. Getting to Know the Founding Fathers
  18. Growing Up, American Style
  19. Honoring Property Rights
  20. Investigating the Departments of the Executive Branch
  21. It’s in Your Pocket
  22. Liberty Metal Trading Cards
  23. Liberty!
  24. Lincoln: The Constitution and the Civil War
  25. Living News Classroom Toolkit
  26. Main Exhibition Student Guide: The Path to Responsible Citizenship
  27. Music and Historical Narrative
  28. Perseverance and the First Amendment
  29. Picture Books and the Bill of Rights
  30. Presidential Progress Report
  31. Prohibition Era Dinner Party
  32. Prohibition Pictionary
  33. Prohibition SMART Board Activity
  34. Respecting Freedom of Speech
  35. Rhyme, Rhyme, Results: Educational Rap Songs
  36. Securing the Blessings of Liberty
  37. Separation of Powers
  38. Sing for Your Rights
  39. State of the Union Bingo
  40. The Constitution Happened Here Lesson Plans
  41. The Exchange: Can the Government Prohibit Citizens from Owning  Handguns?
  42. The Exchange: Is the Constitution Colorblind?
  43. The Exchange: Should a Clean and Healthy Environment Be a Constitutional Right?
  44. The Exchange: Should a Year of National Service Be Required for All Americans?
  45. The Exchange: Should Same Sex Couples Have the Right to Marry?
  46. The Exchange: Should Students’ Cyber Speech Be Protected Under the First Amendment? 
  47. The Exchange: Should the Government Make Sure That Every American Has Affordable Health Insurance?
  48. The Exchange: Should the United States Reduce Immigration?
  49. The Exchange: When Should Increased Security Measures Outweigh Your Privacy Rights in School? 
  50. The Founders’ Library: Thinking as a Founding Father
  51. The Future of Race in America
  52. The History of Flag Day
  53. The History of Memorial Day
  54. To Sign or Not to Sign: The Ultimate Constitution Day Lesson Plan
  55. Understanding Your Rights Lesson Plan
  56. War Making: Executive and Legislative Powers
  57. We the School
  58. What Can I Say in School?
  59. What is Public Use?
  60. Where Will You Be on November 2?
  61. Who Said It? Quote Match
  62. Women of Power

National Constitution Center, Activities Include:

  1. I Have a Dream Mobiles
  2. Amendment Cootie Catchers
  3. American Flag Pinwheels
  4. Art of the American Soldier Family Guide
  5. Ben Franklin Kites
  6. Bill of Rights Bingo
  7. Brown vs. Board of Education Word Puzzle
  8. Cipher Wheel
  9. Constitution Word Puzzle
  10. Design Your Own Dollar Bill
  11. Fala Pins
  12. Founding Fathers Word Puzzle

Eastern State Penitentiary,  Lesson Plan Topics Include: 

  1. Lesson Plan 1: 1820-1900
  2. Lesson Plan 2: 1890-1930
  3. Living at Eastern State Penitentiary
  4. Post-Visit Activities

The Franklin Institute Educator Exhibition Guides, Topics Include: 

  1. The Art of the Brick
  2. Your Brain
  3. Body Worlds: Animals Inside Out
  4. Amazing Machines
  5. Electricity
  6. The Giant Heart

Independence Seaport Museum Lesson Plans, Topics Include:

  1. Teacher Activity Packet Grades 4-6.pdf
  2. Teacher Activity Packet Grades 6-8.pdf
  3. Teacher Activity Packet Grades 9-12.pdf

The Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Lesson Plans, Topics Include:

  1. Healing Black Soldiers
  2. Trying to Cure Cowardice
  3. “Please don’t cut off my leg?” 
  4. Bodies Broken by Bullets
  5. Recruiting Healthy Bodies
  6. Evacuating the Wounded
  7. Navigating the Medical World of Men
  8. Creating a Healthy Camp
  9. Sick Call 
  10. Preserving the Horse Power of the Army

Philadelphia Museum of Art Lesson Plans, Topics Include:

Mathematics Lesson Plans

  1. 100 Patch Geometric Quilts
  2. Art and the Golden Rectangle
  3. Common Core Math And Islamic Art
  4. Is There a Formula for People? (Measurement and Proportion)
  5. Symmetry and Balance in Art and Math
  6. Thinking Tools for Innovators: Part 2 – Imagining
  7. Thinking Tools for Innovators: Part 3 – Abstracting
  8. Thinking Tools for Innovators: Part 4 – Recognizing Patterns
  9. Thinking Tools for Innovators: Part 5 – Forming Patterns

Science Lesson Plans

  1. Do we control Nature, or does Nature control us?
  2. Is there art in nature? What is the nature of art?
  3. Medical Science on Canvas – The Gross Clinic
  4. Picturing America Lesson 3 – For the Birds
  5. Podcasting: Writing Your Way Into Art
  6. Thinking Tools for Innovators: Part 1 – Observing

Social Studies Lesson Plans

  1. All Aboard! Railroad Transportation – Locomotive Briar Cliff
  2. Learning from Primary Sources
  3. Moving from an Agricultural to an Industrial World
  4. Picturing America Lesson 1 – The Power of Women: Art with a Social Agenda
  5. Picturing America Lesson 4 – Exploring Identity
  6. Picturing America Lesson 5 – Franklin: The Man, the Myth, the Legend
  7. Picturing America Lesson 6 – African American Journeys
  8. Picturing America Lesson 9 – The Artist’s Vision: Abstraction and the American West
  9. The Power of Women: Art with a Social Agenda
  10. Thinking about Form and Function in Renaissance Armor
  11. Understanding Differences: Using Portraits to Explore Diversity
  12. What do Primary Sources tell us about lifestyles? (U.S. History)

Language Arts Lesson Plans

  1. An Exercise in Reverie: Finding Meaning in Art
  2. Artful Thinking: Beginning/Middle/End and Perceive/Know/Care About
  3. Brainstorming to Connect Thinking Skills with Abstract Art
  4. Descriptive Writing
  5. Details, Details: How Choices Reveal Character, Setting, Tone, and Theme. (Analyzing and Interpreting, Making Inferences)
  6. Digging-Deep Elements of Art
  7. Ekphrasis: the Meeting of Poetry and Art
  8. Exploring contrasting story elements through tapestry and poetry
  9. Introducing Sculpture: Art You Can Walk Around (Usually)
  10. Picturing America Lesson 2 – The Power of Symbolism
  11. Picturing America Lesson 7 – Seeing History through the Eyes of the Artist
  12. Picturing America Lesson 8 – Conflict: Man Versus Nature
  13. Reading Art As Informational Text With Common Core
  14. Stepping Into A Painting
  15. Symbols: Communicating Beyond Language
  16. Teaching Critical Thinking Through Landscape
  17. Thinking Tools for Innovators: Part 6 – Working with Analogies
  18. Thinking Tools for Innovators: Part 7— Physical Movement and Understanding
  19. Walking Into a Landscape

Historic Philadelphia Lesson Plans, Topics Include:

Independence National Historic Park Lesson Plans, Topics Include: 

  1. The Liberty Bell as a Modern Symbol, grades 9-12, Lesson 1
  2. The Liberty Bell as a Modern Symbol, grades 9-12, Lesson 2
  3. The Liberty Bell as a Modern Symbol, grades 6-9
  4. The Liberty Bell as a Modern Symbol, grades 3-5
  5. The Liberty Bell as a Symbol for Civil Rights, grades 9-12
  6. The Liberty Bell as a Symbol for Civil Rights, grades 4-8
  7. Daily Life and Diversity in 18th Century Philadelphia, Lesson Five: Investigate 1790’s Philadelphia, Learning through Reporting
  8. Oney Judge’s Journey to Freedom
  9. Daily Life and Diversity in 18th Century Philadelphia, Lesson Four: Sharing Information, Learning through the Jigsaw Method
  10. Daily Life and Diversity in 18th Century Philadelphia, Lesson Three: Entering the House, Learning through Material Culture
  11. Daily Life and Diversity in 18th Century Philadelphia, Lesson Two: Meet the People Using Primary and Secondary Resources
  12. Daily Life and Diversity in 18th Century Philadelphia, Lesson One: Investigating History
  13. Abolitionists and the Underground Railroad
  14. Leaders and Stories of the Underground Railroad
  15. Digging for Clues!
  16. Historical Document Research
  17. Routes of the Underground Railroad
  18. Benjamin Franklin: Man of Many Talents
  19. The Early Years of the State House Bell
  20. Liberty Bell Time Line for Grades 6 – 12
  21. Liberty Bell Time Line
  22. Ben Franklin: What a Character!

Chemical Heritage Museum Lesson Plans, Topics Include: 

  1. Main Story: Narrative of Julian’s Life (Teacher Version)
  2. Activity 1A: The Segregated South: From Slavery to Jim Crow (Reading)
  3. Activity 1C: The Trailblazers (Reading)
  4. Activity 2B: What Is Organic Chemistry? (Reading)
  5. Activity 3B: Repeating Experiments (Lab Activity)
  6. Activity 3C: What Is Synthesis? (Reading and Interactive)
  7. Activity 5A: Synthetic vs. Natural: What’s the Difference? (Reading)
  8. Activity 5B: Chemical Reactions and How You Know When You’ve Made Something New (Lab Activity)
  9. Activity 5C: Melting Point Simulation (Interactive)
  10. Activity 6A: Making and Sizing Paper  (Lab Activity)
  11. Activity 7A: Pure Substances, Mixtures, and Separations (Lab Activity Series)
  12. Activity 8A: The Many Faces of Steroids (Reading)
  13. Activity 9A: Fighting Discrimination (Activity)
  14. Activity 10A: Changing the Starch in “Yams” to Sugar (Lab Activity)
  15. Activity 11A: What Is Success? (Activity)

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