Boston Tea Party Middle School Activities

Instructor: Christopher Muscato

Chris has a master's degree in history and teaches at the University of Northern Colorado.

The following activities are designed to help your middle school students find new and creative ways to engage with the history and significance of the Boston Tea Party.

The Boston Tea Party

The Boston Tea Party was one of the most significant protests in American history, a moment when the American colonists began to significantly reject their position in the British Empire. By middle school, students have likely heard of the Boston Tea Party and are ready to engage more deeply with this history and its significance. The following activities can help you find new ways to help your students connect with the events of the Boston Tea Party.

Boston Tea Party Activities for Middle School

Call to Action

This activity can be completed by students independently or in groups. Students will imagine that the year is 1773 and the standoff between protestors and British tea officials is underway. It's time to rally Americans to head to the port and destroy the tea in protest. Each student or group is going to write a 1-3 minute speech from the perspective of an American protestor in which they attempt to summarize the events leading to this moment, justify the need for the Boston Tea Party, and call their fellow Americans to action. Give students time to prepare their rallying speeches, and then ask them to present to the class.

If you wish to expand upon this, you can ask students to imagine that the Boston Tea Party is happening in the 21st century, not the 18th. In this scenario, students will attempt to rally protestors to the Boston Tea Party by launching a social media campaign. Students will plan and coordinate the Boston Tea Party using various social media platforms and digital forms of communication.

  • Materials: Reference materials, writing supplies, social media access if desired

Historical Fiction

Provide students with a set of primary sources about the Boson Tea Party that show how people felt about this at the time. Students will examine these primary sources and use them to help craft a short work of historical fiction in which a fictional protagonist participates in the Boston Tea Party. Since this is a fictional piece, students can take some creative liberties in how their main protagonist feels and responds; however, this story must also clearly demonstrate familiarity with laws, issues, and attitudes of people at the time. Students also cannot write anything that would substantially change how this history unfolded.

  • Materials: Primary source packet, writing supplies

Students of Liberty

During the era of the Boston Tea Party, private boycott societies led grassroots campaigns that set the stage for the Revolution. Most famous among these are groups like the Sons of Liberty. To engage with this history, students will form their own boycott and protest organizations.

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