Title: Boston Tea Party: Rebellion in the Colonies Author

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Intermediate Guided Reading Lesson Plan

Title: Boston Tea Party: Rebellion in

the Colonies

Author: Knight, James E.

Publisher: Troll Associates

ISBN: 0-8167-4802-0



Text Structure:

Narrative Informational



Literacy Core Objective: 5th Grade

S7/O2 Apply strategies to comprehend text.

Social Studies Core Objective: 5th Grade

S2/O1 Describe how the movement toward revolution

culminated in a Declaration of Independence.

Enduring Understanding: Purpose for reading

Discontent with English rule led colonists to rebel. The Boston Tea Party was one such rebellious event that led to the Revolutionary War and the establishment of a new government and country. Students will understand how the Boston Tea Party came about and how it was a contributing factor leading towards the American Revolution.

ELL Strategies:
Show students some tea bags. Explain the importance of the tea to the British. Show the picture below and discuss how party has a different meaning in the term “Tea Party”. Answer questions about why the colonists dressed up and threw the tea in the water.

I Can Statements” - Essential Questions:

  • What did the colonists object to that led to the souring of British and colonial relations?

  • What does the phrase “taxation without representation” mean?

  • How did the colonists respond to British taxation?

  • Why did the men throw the tea in the water?

  • Were they right to do this? Why?

Before Reading

Vocabulary: Use the graphic organizer for the vocabulary. Word, Kid friendly definition, and sketch. You may want to do the vocabulary in sections each day.
oppression (p. 5) repealed (p. 6) boycott (p.7) fiery (p. 11) concealing (. 17)

urged (p. 5) black-market (p. 6) livelihood (p. 9) tyranny (p. 11) sentry (p. 20)

plight (p. 5) Parliament (p. 6) resign (p. 9) protesting (p. 12) spectators (p. 27)

relate (p.5) monopoly (p. 6) quartered (p. 9) duty (p. 16) fife (p. 28)

Activate/Build Prior Knowledge:

  • Ask the students to tell you what they think about when they hear the words, "tea party" (i.e. social event, Alice in Wonderland, Boston Tea Party, Chester Town Tea Party, etc). Show the attached image of a scene from the Boston Tea Party to stimulate thinking. Explain that manufactured goods from England were taxed by the King to help pay for the Seven Years War. Remind students that although the King had ignored them, the colonists were still British and, as citizens, they were still under the protection and authority of England. The colonist held on to many British traditions and customs, such as drinking tea. Taxes had been imposed and repealed several times during this period, but the most hated and dreaded was the tax on tea. The colonists rebelled against the tax with the Boston Tea Party.

Comprehension Strategy:


During Reading

Attend to Comprehension Within, Beyond, & About the text:

Using appropriate Guided reading strategies, students will be reading at their own pace and teachers will be listening to students read, monitoring, giving feedback, taking anecdotal notes and running records.

Suggested Pacing: The book could most likely be read in one guided reading sitting.

After Reading

Attend to Comprehension Within, Beyond, & About the text:
Have students each write and share a summary of the important ideas and details of the story. Then have the following discussion with the students.
On page 30, Benjamin Hatcher states at the end of his letter to William Yancy, “I believe that we in Boston may be watching the beginning of a Revolution.” Discuss the relation of that statement to a famous quote by John Adams after the first shots at Lexington and Concord were heard, "The Revolution was effected before the war commenced - the Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people." Continue with a discussion about how the Boston Tea party was a major event that led to the Revolutionary War and a new nation and government.

Content Core Integration:(Science, Soc. St., Math, etc.)


Determining whether an Event is Justified

Write an essay arguing why the Boston Tea Party was or was not justified. Be sure to include the following:

  1. Was the cause just?

  2. Was there a less violent or inconveniencing alternative to achieving the aim?

  3. Did the protest accomplish the desired result?

You may wish to argue that the Tea Party was justified because no one should pay taxes unless they are represented; there were no effective less violent ways of protesting the tax; and the desired end was accomplished. Or you may wish to argue that it is wrong to destroy someone else’s property; there were less objectionable ways to protest the Tea Act; and the result of the Tea Party was a more oppressive set of laws.


  • To further student's understanding of "taxation without representation," have the principal impose a high tax on something in the school for your class only, without any discussion or warning.

  • Create a cartoon strip depicting what happened at the Boston Tea Party either on paper or in the computer lab using Comic Creator from Read Write Think at the following site: http://www.readwritethink.org/materials/comic/index.html

  • Create a poster that shows four reasons why we continue to pay taxes today.

  • Imagine you are a Patriot living in Boston in 1774. Design a pamphlet describing the wrongs imposed on colonists by English taxation. Include persuasive arguments for the continued fight against British taxation.

*Not all activities will be done in each lesson. Some lessons may take multiple days to complete. However, all students should be reading each time you meet.

Name ________________________________ Date ____________________________


ord: ___________________________

Definition: ________________________


ord: ___________________________
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ord: ___________________________
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ord: ___________________________
Definition: ________________________

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