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Currency Act of 1764

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Keywords: History, Business, Social Skills, American Revolution, Problem Solving, Creative Thinking, Social Studies, Activity, Hands On
Subject(s): Civics, Social Studies, Social Skills, Geography, History, Speech and Language
Grades 4 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: Tyler Classical Academy, Tyler, TX
Planned By: Suni Weatherby
Original Author: Suni Weatherby, Tyler
Each student must design a boat that can float and carry goods across the ocean. This boat will be used as they create a early colonial business.
Each student will each get a handful of candies (Colonial money) and a few grains of rice (British money). They also get a pencil to represent the Townshend Act and a book to represent the Stamp Act. Other goods that will be placed around the room to encourage the students to own businesses are paper hats, paper boats, and extra books and pencils. As they walk around the room, they will begin creating a business alone or with a partner in the classroom.
Students will then be given the role of a Patriot or a Loyalist. This role will put boundaries on how and with whom they can do business
Patriots may exchange their candy for rice at the bank, but Loyalist can only get rice by doing business with other Loyalists and Patriots.
Each student must talk with other classmates and figure out the best way to buy, sell, or trade their goods in order to make the most money.
Video of the businesses will be streamed to a tax collector and a king, but they will not be able to be in the room. This will demonstrate how dependent the king was on the people he appointed to the colonies.
Every 7 minutes, the tax collector enters and requests taxes be paid, but only in rice. They must keep digital records of their transactions, and these will be checked by the "King" to ensure all proper taxes were paid.
By the end of the class, candy is no longer considered money and only rice will be valid.

This game will encourage students to understand how the Colonists felt when rules were imposed on their lives and economy. They will understand what goods were taxed and be able to more readily answer questions regarding the events leading up to the American Revolution. They will also become more comfortable with the concept of business, money, and technology.
This lesson is meant to teach many concepts. By introducing technology into a tactile environment of paper goods and candy, students will have a greater understanding of the many advantages technology provides and their every day uses.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This lesson also teaches economic principles, history, social skills, and mathematics.
I would like to use this technology in all of my history lessons. Early access to technology will help fuel a passion for knowledge, truth, beauty, goodness, and an endless world of possibilities. When a child seeks the truth offered in History and Social Studies classes, there is no limit to what the child can become.
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Video Cameras, Networked Projectors, Projector Screens, Wacom Tablets, Social Studies