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If you want to cause a Revolutionary War in your classroom, try this candy tax lesson
Math, Social Studies
3, 4, 5
Title – Taxes Just Aren’t Fair!
By – Lauren Seay
Primary Subject – Social Studies
Secondary Subjects – Math
Grade Level – 3-5
Objective: TSWBAT understand how the colonist felt when they paid outrageous taxes. They will understand the tension and causes for The American Revolution.
- M&M;’s or Jelly Beans
- Small cups (optional)
- * Pass out small cups for candy to go in (optional)
- * Divide candy between students (I usually give them between 20-30 pieces)
- * Tell students that today they are going to pay taxes, but they are paying with candy.
- * The teacher is the “Tax Collector”
- * Begin calling out certain colors and the number of candy pieces they owe the “tax collector” for wearing that color of clothing. (Example: If you have on red, you owe me four jelly beans, If you have on blue jeans, you owe me five jelly beans, and keep going until you have some students that won’t have any candy left.)
- * The students will start getting upset with you for taking their candy and then you can explain that is the way the colonist felt when they were being unfairly taxed by the English.
- *This can lead to a discussion about the Stamp Act and other various taxes that the colonist didn’t agree with. This is what led up to the American Revolution.
Notes: I do this lesson after we have discussed some of the various taxes so that the students will have background knowledge to build on. I also provide a little extra candy for them to eat at the end of the activity.
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