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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tried it Tuesday-Causes of the American Revolution with Smarties


I love starting back to school on a Tuesday...if only every weekend was a three day weekend! I'm linking up with Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for Tried it Tuesday


Last week my students and I studied the causes of the American Revolution. Earlier this year Mary from Fit to be Fourth blogged about a Smarties activity she used to introduce her students to the causes of the American Revolution. She was so kind to send it to me.

Since I only have 14 students I had my student teacher be the Queen. I was Parliament, two of my students were tax collectors and the rest were colonists. My student teacher read out the new tax laws while the tax collectors collected the taxes from their classmates. They passed the "taxes" to me and I passed a large share onto the king. The tax collectors were able to keep one Smartie for each new tax, I as Parliament kept two and we gave the rest to the Queen.
The students got very vocal about the situation and quickly let us know that they did not find it very fair.

As you can see the Queen had a very large share.

The colonists did not end up with much.

Once the activity was over, we had the students reflect on how they felt about the activity (after I gave them all more Smarties so they stopped thinking I was the unfair one,) and how they thought the colonists felt when they had to give up their money.

It was a fantastic activity that really helped the kids have a taste of what the colonists may have felt.

American Revolution Linky

What have you tried recently? What do you do to help your students understand the American Revolution?

17 comments:

  1. What a cool simulation to help your students empathize with the colonists during the American Revolution. I used to teach Social Studies (now I teach all science in grade 6), but this is a perfect example of how to engage kids in thought-provoking discussions about our nation's history! Thanks for sharing :)

    Regards,
    Kate
    Kate's Classroom Cafe

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  2. I had forgotten all about this, but really want to try this! Thank you for the reminder.
    Alison
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

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  3. What a good lesson! I'm sure they grasped the concept of taxation at that time with your activity. Thanks for sharing.
    Tammi
    The Balanced Classroom

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  4. Love it! Gets the kids very invested in the Revolutionary War right from the start of the unit!

    Polka Dots & Teaching Tots

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  5. I love it! What a great hook! I remember when Mary blogged about it, so glad you had success too!
    Joanne
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

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  6. This is great with the Smarties! I use a similar activity called "King's M&M's" for the American Revolution (or I used to when I still taught SS:). I really did let the King keep the extra M&M's too to "authentic" a little of the feeling of the angry colonists. :) I'm such a meanie! Thanks for linking up!
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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  7. This is a great idea! Thanks for linking up so I can revisit it in the spring!

    Diane

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  8. I'm glad you enjoyed this activity. Students definitely get the message loud and clear. Thank you for the shout out!

    Mary
    Fit to be Fourth
    Follow me on Bloglovin

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  9. Oh, I can hear the cries of injustice already! Great share!

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  10. Bethany,

    This is great. Our second graders just did an activity like this for Columbus Day and at the end they had to give almost all their supplies away to the queen. The kids loved it!

    I love teaching kids lessons through getting them to realize how unfair situations can be. nice.

    matt

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  11. I had a classroom economy and once we started the revolutionary war unit I had another class come in and announce that they are charging our class taxes - and we had to pay them the money they earned. They were not happy about this at all! I like the smarties idea too!

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  12. I used this activity this year, and my kids LOVED it! They learned so much, thank you!

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  13. I'm a student teacher this year and I'm doing it in my classroom this week using Starbursts--thank you for sharing the great idea!

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  14. I love it, and I'm thinking about using it with my 8th graders GA History. Just starting American Revolution

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  15. I love it, and I'm thinking about using it with my 8th graders GA History. Just starting American Revolution

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  16. I'm curious, how many smarties did you give each student? thx

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