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Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Boston Tea Party

Welcome back to my blog! I hope you enjoy the new design! As stated, this past semester (fall 2012), I was placed in a 4th grade practicum. This was my last practicum before I start student teaching in January. As a Field Experience assignment for our Social Studies class, we were required to teach a 1-day lesson in the field of Social Studies! I was allowed to teach on the Boston Tea Party/Son's of Liberty! Since I was not sure of my students' background knowledge, I felt the need to briefly focus on the events that led up to the BTP (Colonization,War,Taxes,etc...). 

I presented my lesson through the use of a Power Point. I briefly covered the background knowledge slides. We continued through our discussion of the BTP, and Sons of Liberty! 

Boston Tea Party PowerPoint

Then it was time for the FUN to BEGIN! For the guided practice, we completed a live reenactment! Below were the rules/procedures/materials etc... of the activity. 

The Boston Tea Party Reenactment:            

-Slips of Paper (with Poor,Middle,Rich,and Loyalist written on them). 

- Bags of Beads (or some type of representation of "Money).

- King's graphic organizer paper

-Wooden #2 pencils 



-King Crown/Scepters (optional). 


1. The students will randomly draw a slip of paper from a zip-lock bag. Note: Depending on the number of students you have in your class, will determine how many Rich/Middle/Poor class colonist you will have. You should only have TWO students play the role of loyalist.YOU WILL BE PLAYING THE ROLE OF THE KING!!!! 

Since you are the king, you deserve to wear your KING CROWN. Your Loyalist should be given a Scepter. I found these Foam Crowns and Scepters from the Dollar Tree! 

The job descriptions are:
Loyalist--assist the king in collecting "Taxes" and also make laws.  
Colonist--Pay their taxes when instructed to do so. 
King-Creates laws

2. The King/Loyalist will pass out the colonist money. Depending on the card they pulled will determine the amount of money they received for the reenactment. 
-Poor Colonist--10 Beads
-Middle Colonist-15 Beads 
-Rich Colonist-20 Beads 
Note: You may use whatever item you would like to represent your money (Base 10 blocks, money manipulatives, etc...). 

3. During the experiment, laws will be created by the king. S/He will be taxing the colonist for their basic necessities, such as (pencils, help from a friend, etc...). The loyalist will go to each desk, collect the tax, and give the colonist their item. (NOTE: I had the colonist put my money in a clear SOLO CUP. Once they brought the money back, I told the colonist, I was giving the loyalist a share of my money). 

4. IF a colonist runs out of money during the experiment, they will be thrown in "Jail." Then forced to continue working to pay off their debt. I created signs for these lucky few to wear.  You should teach your students that, when the colonist failed to pay the king, they would get put in prison and have to work to pay off the debt. 

5. During the representation, the colonist will fill out a graphic organizer/complete math facts/etc.... ANYTHING to get them working, while the experiment is taking place. I used the following. 

The following are the TAXES I implemented with my students, since I was on a time crunch [my supervisor was observing], I didn't let each tax/representation last long
For my very first tax, the colonist had to PAY me 3 beads to buy my graphic organizer!!

For my next tax, I noticed several students were using mechanical pencils. I grabbed one of the student's pencils and threw it on the floor. I stated, "I hate mechanical pencils, you must use my basic wooden #2 pencil. 

For the third tax, I asked the students if the graphic organizer was hard? They said, "Yes!" I allowed everyone to work together (for a price of course). [During this time, I had 2 students who were thrown into jail, since they were unable to pay the tax, when completing this, you should make some of your taxes high in order to put some of your students in jail. Mean? Yes! But this is a learning experience, so you want your students to experience this scenario]. 

The second time I taught my lesson (for the next class), My loyalist created a law of using the desk. 

FOR MY FINAL TAX, I had M&M fun sized packs to give to the students. BUT obviously only those who could afford it, could receive it. First I asked the students, "Who likes Chocolate?" Everyone responded "I DO!" I explained that I know that they do, so this tax is going to be the HIGHEST TAX (10 beads). I explained this scenario was similar to the TEA TAX that the colonist faced. TEA was a great commodity of the colonist, like chocolate is to most children. Sometimes the tax on the tea was too expensive for the colonist, and they could not afford to buy it legally. In the end, I obviously gave all of my students a pack of M&M's for participating. 
Many of my students asked afterwards, "Why were you sooo mean to us?" I responded, "Think about it, you people are the colonist/patriots. You want to get away from all of my laws and oppose me, while my loyalist are people, who have stayed true to my rulings. I am obviously going to favor this group of people over the other group. If someone doesn't do what you want, there is a tendency to not "like" that person, especially if they want to get rid of you. 

For my Independent practice, I had the students fill out the following Ticket out the Door. While my students did a great job of stating their opinions/point of view and taking a stance, they didn't quite grasp, what I was asking. For example:  Some students who took the stance of the King stated, "I would be the king. If I were the king I would be nice to the colonist, and I would not make them pay me all of those taxes." While I loved they were at least writing their opinions, I would have preferred them to state something similar to: "If I were the King, I would have punished the colonist harshly. It costs a lot of money to export my tea, and they just threw it overboard! This is ridiculous........I would choose the view point of the loyalist. If I saw the colonist throwing the Tea overboard, I would do everything possible to get rid of them. I am supposed to be defending the KING. If he finds out I let these Patriots get rid of his tea, he is going to MAD!!! He will probably have my head for this mistake!! 

To close the Lesson, I showed the School House Rock Video....NO MORE KINGS:

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