Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Revolutionary War Activity- No Taxation Without Representation!

Hi!  It's Pam Olivieri from Rockin Resources!  Do you look at the sweet faces in your classroom and see blank stares?  I think we all do at times, which motivates us to stay after school or work late at night finding ways to keep our students engaged.  Students get a deeper level of meaning from lessons that include a connection or hands-on activity.  It gets them excited about learning!  This Revolutionary War activity has incorporated both a connection piece and a hands-on activity.  It works well for my fourth graders, so I hope your students will enjoy it as well!

Preparations and Materials:
2 snack bags of Skittles or M&M's per student
Large construction paper
Crayons or markers
A bucket or basket for collecting candy

5 Steps to the lesson:

1.  Informational Text-  We learn a bit about taxes (tariffs) and why they were one of the causes of the Revolutionary War.  Here is a synopsis of the Stamp Act of 1765.

2.  Candy Activity-  
First, appoint roles to three students (King of England- King George III, representative of the Parliament, and a tax collector).  Have them sit facing the rest of the class in the front of the room.  

Second, give each student at their seats one pack of the candy.  Tell them they are not to eat the candy until the activity is completed.  (Have the extra pack to eat after everyone does an amazing job focusing and participating!)

Next, tell students that they just earned money (candy) for their jobs, but they need to pay some taxes.  

Then, the tax collector needs to go around and collect money (candy) for each person who possesses the following:  Wearing jeans, having glasses, wearing a necklace, holding a pen (whatever else you choose).  You may even decided to tax more than one piece of candy for some of the items.  I guarantee your class will get fired up!!!!!!

At the end, the tax collector keeps 10%, gives 50% to the representative from Parliament for running the Empire, and the King 40%.  After all the taxes have been collected, discuss how the students feel.  

3.  Writing Activity:  This is a great time to incorporate writing!  They will be so fired up and want to tell you their opinions for sure!  Compare their feelings of paying taxes to the colonists paying taxes to Britain.

4.  Poster:  Explain the term boycott- a refusal to buy something to show your disapproval.  As a response to these taxes, colonists decided to boycott all British goods!  They used the saying, "NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION!"  Have students create posters with their feelings about taxes.  I allowed the King, Parliament and tax collector to create posters too!  :)

From a tax collector

From the King

5.  Protest:  Form a protest and march up and down the halls!  They will love it!  ( of course principal approval first)  Some kids decided to grab a ruler and attach it to the back of their posters.  Creative minds!  Even if your neighbor will allow you to march through her/his class, the kids will remember it even more!  

Walllaaaaa!!!  Fun times in the classroom!  This is one of the many activities I use in my classroom to keep my students engaged with the Revolutionary War.  If this fits well with your classroom and you are interested in seeing more, click on the picture below!

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