Motivation: The teacher will show the video Tea Party - Schoolhouse Rock - No More Kings
The teacher will remind students of the phrase "No Taxation Without Representation." The teacher will ask students to tell what they believe this means and how could this get the colonists into such an uproar against the King of England. The teacher will accept responses.
Divide the students into five groups of colonists, two tax collectors, two parliamentarians, and one king.
The five groups of colonists will all be given a cup with 20 pieces of candy (Skittles or M&Ms).
The tax collectors, the parliament, and the king all have empty cups but they are bigger than the colonists' cups. Using the cards provided in the attachments, the tax collector will draw a card for a group of colonists. The colonists will have to pay the amount on the card to the tax collector. The tax collector will then distribute the candies to the parliament and to the king. Each colony must draw a card. The students will quickly see that their candies are going to the king and parliament. The colonists may decide to refuse to pay and the tax collector can then take all the candies and throw that colony in "jail". Each colony must draw at least two cards so that the gist of the game is understood. The teacher can halt the game and discuss the equity or fairness of what is happening with the taxes. The teacher will then ask what would happen if the colonists could vote on how many candies are given to the king and parliament. This allows them to understand the term "representation".
After the game, the teacher will lead the discussion by asking questions such as:
Do you think the colonists should have paid the taxes? Why or why not?
Do you think the British government could have done anything differently to resolve the issues?
What could/should the colonists have considered when they were asked to pay these taxes on services that the British government was providing?
The teacher will ask students to create a comic strip illustrating their view of the causes of the American Revolutionary War. The comic strip must include the British government and the colonists during this time period and students must use appropriate content and provide some evidence as the basis for their thinking (Comic Strip Maker).