The American Revolution: A 2 nd Grade Unit . Rationale.
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4th of July – end of unit party
Monarchy vs. Democracy
Declaration of Independence
Taxation: Now and Then
Causes and Effects of the American Revolution
The Geography of the American Revolution
approximately one week
Students will be involved in a simulation that mimics the unfairness of some monarchy governments.
16.B.2b (US) Identify major causes of the American Revolution and describe the consequences of the Revolution through the early national period, including the roles of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.
Power, Authority, and Governance
Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance.
Coins, stickers, stars, etc.
In this simulation, the teacher becomes the king/queen of the classroom. He/She will make up the rules, collect taxes, and order “subjects” to perform tasks with no input from the students.
In the first phase, the teacher will require the students to do routine classroom things. Students will abide by the normal classroom rules. Additionally, they will receive “money” for doing normal classrooms jobs that can be used at the end of the week for certain items or rewards.
In the second phase, the teacher will become more restrictive and begin adding rules without input from the students. He/She will begin collecting taxes from the students. The taxes will be somewhat reasonable.
In the third and final phase, the teacher will become very restrictive and unfair. He/she will begin taking things away from the students (recess, group time, free time). They will begin adding more rules and collecting more taxes. Teachers might even consider “privileging” some students and “oppressing” others.
At this point, students will hopefully begin to recognize the unfairness going on in the classroom and stage a “revolt.”
Examples of reasons to collect taxes:
* to go to the bathroom * for wearing certain types of clothing (blue shirts, gym shoes)
* to go to recess * for having certain characteristics (brown eyes, long hair)
* for not raising your hand
Examples of additional rules:
* using king/queen to address the teacher * no drawing or coloring
* no recess * bowing before the king/queen
Students will write in the journals daily about the events taking place in the classroom. Also, after the simulation is over, the class will discuss their feelings about what happened and make a list of how it felt to live in a classroom monarchy.
It is a good idea to send a note home to parents before doing this simulation. Parents should be notified in case students become upset about the unfairness in the classroom. Also, all students should be told that this is only a simulation and it will only take place for a week. After this week, students will be treated fairly again. This simulation could be very upsetting for students will emotional disabilities. These students will most definitely need to be notified of the events before they occur. They could be used as “loyalists” and not be subjected to the same treatment as the other students. Those students who have trouble expressing themselves through written work could draw a picture of their feelings during the simulation. Those students who have trouble expressing themselves orally could choose to have their journals read during whole class discussions.