The unit, American Revolution - British Laws vs. British Colonists, introduces the students to some of the British Laws that led directly to the Revolution by having them research the laws with set facts to look for. It, also, includes a SIMULATION that puts the students in the shoes of the colonists in experiencing “Taxation Without Representation”.
For a COOPERATIVE LEARNING experience, from there students work in groups analyzing the laws, the feelings of the colonists, as well as their own feelings. I found this lesson very effective in getting the students to understand what the colonists were feeling and why the people were ready to go to war against their own government.
THE FIRST ACTIVITY requires the students to research the laws that were forced on the colonists in the ten years immediately prior to the Revolution. The students must research and fill-in the missing facts on the note sheets provided. They can gain the information from textbooks, library books, encyclopedias, and websites on the internet. There are many. Tell the students to type in the name of the law on the internet search page. That is enough to reach a list of websites for the topic. Tell them to search the sites to find one that will provide the information they need. There are no specific student directions so you will have to give them a few directions before they begin. Be sure to include suggestions of research resources for them. If they have an American History text, that should be their primary research source.
THE SECOND ACTIVITY is a Simulation Activity that puts the students in the shoes of the colonists by makng them believe you will be charging to grade their homework for the rest of the year without allowing them any say about it. The Simulation Activity has a three page instruction sheet for your eyes only! Read it carefully. You can adapt it to shorten the time it takes or alter it to better fit your needs. The directions are entitled TEACHERS ONLY! Have fun with it but be sure to communicate with the principals as suggested.
THE THIRD ACTIVITY challenges student groups to work together to reach consensus about three questions presented to them. The questions involve students in analyzing the positions of the Colonists and Parliament, comparing the feelings and actions of the colonists to the students’ during the simulation. In the last challenge, the students must reach consensus on what law would have made them be willing to go to war with their own government and explain why. If they can’t reach consensus, they must explain why. They must also explain how they would avoid war. LOTS OF THINKING & DISCUSSION!