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Tax collection in the classroom

December 12, 2011

What better way to learn about the American Revolution than to experience it first hand? This is essentially what the drama-focused teacher at Classroom Magic did with her fourth graders. To teach about taxation in the colonies, one student became the king, two students became tax collectors, and the rest were taxpaying citizens. Everyone received a cup of a few  M&M’s to use as currency. The king then instituted the first tax (the wearing-red-clothing tax) and many students were forced to give up an M&M. Then the “king” created a number of other arbitrary taxes (e.g., the girl tax, sibling tax) until students were annoyed and out of candy.

With this introduction, even your most reluctant students will be hooked! This lesson will not only illustrate one of the reasons the colonists went to war but it will also help them understand taxation.

If you want to make these simulations more or less complex, try adding new roles or giving some students opportunities to research content to add to scripts.

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