#3874. Taxes Just Aren't Fair!

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Jan 25 07:21:54 PST 2007 by Lauren Seay (seayln@pickens.k12.sc.us).
Dacusville Elementary, Easley,SC
Materials Required: M&M's or jelly beans, small cups (optional)
Activity Time: about 20 minutes
Concepts Taught: Taxes and the American Revolution

Objective: TSBAT 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 having that particular color on (Ex: If you have on red you owe me 4 jelly beans, If you have on blue jeans you owe me 5 jelly beans, and keep going until you have some that won't have any left)
*The students will start getting upset at 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.