Teaching students about history can require some outside the box thinking, and that’s just what Mrs. Boyle did with her Social Studies classes last week when teaching about the New World colonies and the start of our government in the late 1700s. With a list of taxable items from school supplies to leaving to use the restroom, students were each given their coins (fruit loops) at the beginning of the day and were able to learn the lesson through life experience.
“Today was a chance to bring history to life,” Mrs. Doyle said. “King George III taxed the colonists (students) throughout the class period for all kinds of things, such as using a computer, getting a paper, sharpening a pencil, and even for asking the King a question.”
Mrs. Boyle dressed up as King George and the students had to pay their taxes through the day as they completed a list of assignments. Students were seated in colonies and worked together to help each other, while also completing their individual task cards that demonstrated comprehension of the geography, government timeline and the different acts that were protested. Posters were around the room reminding the students of the Acts of the American Revolution that they had already studied, including the Sugar Act, the Tea Act, the Stamp Act and the Townshend Act.
“By the end of the day, I wanted the students to understand how the colonists felt and why they desperately wanted independence from England,” Mrs. Boyle said. “Not only did they understand our American history better, but they increased their reading skills, comprehension, inferencing, and map skills. When students practice all of those skills, understand history, and participate in something they won’t ever forget, it is a big win for this teacher!”