In Social Studies we’ve been learning about the events that led to the American Revolution. We’ve learned that the Revolution was not caused by just one thing, but by a series of events. We’ve studied the French and Indian War and the various conflicts between the colonists and the British. Here are three activities we did to help us understand these events.
Taxation Without Representation Role Play
Members of the class were given “money” (a small cup of candies). Three students were chosen to serve as the King and his two Tax Collectors. The King started passing “taxes” that affected some class members, but not others; for example, if you had laces on your shoes, the tax collectors took three of your candies, or if you were wearing glasses, they took two. After a few turns we could see how unfair it must have seemed to the colonists when they had to pay taxes whenever the King asked, especially since they had no representatives who could speak for them in Parliament!
Sons of Liberty
We read that the Sons of Liberty had to do a lot of communicating in secret. When they scheduled a meeting, they would fly a red flag from the liberty pole in town. We practiced being Sons of Liberty by getting into groups and building liberty poles with the supplies we were given. The catch was that we had to do all the building in complete silence! It was hard, but it helped us see how the Sons of Liberty had to be careful not to give away their plans.
We learned that there was a trial after the Boston Massacre, and there were lots of conflicting opinions about what really happened that night. We went through a series of clues from the scene and read actual witness statements from the trial to compare them. We also studied the famous engraving made by Paul Revere. After we looked at everything, we had to form an opinion about who was most at fault, the colonists or the British soldiers, and write up a report about it.
Here is a Flipagram showing pictures of these activities.
Attribution: Here are links to the original sources on which these three activities were based: Taxation Without Representation Role Play by Kristine Nannini, Sons of Liberty by Mind Missions, Boston Massacre by To Engage Them All.
Next week, we’ll start Mission 1: For Crown or Colony, from Mission US!