Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Role Playing History : Patriots and Independence, part IV: First Continental Congress

Reading Assignment for the Week:

  • Read George Washington's World, Genevieve Foster, part IV
  • Kingfisher History Encyclopedia, pgs 302 -306

Day 1: Research and Timeline Activities

Your students need to research the following events and add them to their timeline.

Stamp Act is repealed in 1766.

The Declaratory Act of 1766
The British Parliament affirms that it has the authority to make laws and statutes of sufficient force and validity to bind the colonies and people of America in all cases whatsoever.

The Townsend Acts of 1767
Duties are hereby placed on colonial imports of lead, paper, glass and tea.

Since the colonies are not following the spirit of the Quartering Act; an example must be made of the New York assembly (the worst offender); therefore, all actions of the New York Assembly are null and void until full supplies are forthcoming.

In order to ensure collection of all taxes, the customs bureau has been reorganized. The Board of Commissioners is headquartered in Boston and has full supervisory authority.

The Boston Massacre of 1770
A skirmish on March 5 between British troops and Boston citizens results in five killed and six wounded.
Project: Study the painting by Paul Revere and discuss propoganda.

The Townsend Acts in 1770 are repealed, except for the duties on tea and the quartering of troops.

The Committees of Correspondence of 1772 are organized by Sam Adams.  The Committees will ensure communications between the colonies and publicize all British atrocities.

The 1773 Tea Act
The British government tried to stop the smuggling of tea into the colonies from other countries. In order to help the East India Company,  Britain allowed the company to pay lower import duties on tea sold in the colonies than it would pay for tea sold in England.

The Boston Tea Party of 1773
A group of colonists board the ships of the East India Company and pitch the tea into Boston Harbor.  This was a response to Governor Hutchinson ' s order that the ships were not to depart until the tea was unloaded. The company feared violence if they attempted to unload the tea.

The Intolerable Acts of 1774
The Boston Port Act
The port of Boston is closed until restitution is made for the tea dumped into Boston Harbor.

Massachusetts Government Act
The constitution of 1691 is hereby altered. The Governor's Council will now be appointed by the King instead of elected by the state assembly. Town meetings may be held only once a year unless the governor calls for one.

The Administration of Justice Act
All British government officials and customs officers who are indicted for murder can be tried in England rather than in the colonies before colonial juries.

The Quartering Act
All British troops are to be quartered within the city,not just in the barracks.  Boston is the headquarters of all British troops in North America.

The Quebec Act of 1774
The government of Canada will operate under French Civil Law without a representative assembly. Special provisions allow powers to the Catholic Church. Additionally, all land west of the Appalachians and north of the Ohio is now under the territorial jurisdiction of the province of Quebec.

Day 2: The Role-Play : The First Continental Congress

Since a Loyalist from the Middle Atlantic colonies will serve as the Chairman of the First Continental Congress, if your student has remained a Loyalist and is from the Middle Atlantic states, he may serve as the Chairman. This runs exactly as the Stamp Act Congress ran.

The Proposals

Students must research the following proposals and take into consideration not only the Loyalist and Patriot Point of views on them,  but also how they affected the colonists from the different areas (Southern, Northern and Mid Atlantic). Your student has the option of remaining Loyalists or becoming a Neutralist as the Stamp Act Congress may have affected his character and made him rethink his position on the matters at hand.

1. We will form outright opposition and resistance to the Intolerable Acts.

2. We will form "The Association" whereby we refuse to import,  export or conduct trade of any kind with Great Britain, Ireland and the West Indies.

3. We will adopt the Galloway Plan of Union to establish a Grand Council of the Americas.
The Acts of the Grand Council are subject to parliamentary review and veto, but Acts of Parliament affecting the colonies are subject to the approval of the Grand Council.
The Grand Council has authority over matters of defense, westward expansion and Indian relations.  It may raise armies, build forts and warships.
The Grand Council may levy taxes to pay its expenses.

4. Parliament has neither the authority to tax the colonies nor to legislate for them.

5. Parliament has no legislative or tax authority over the colonies, but still has the right to regulate colonial trade as a just compensation for the British Navy's protection of colonial shipping.

RP's, POWs and Pressure Actions

Students will be given RP'S based on how well they prepared their own notes on the both sides of the arguments, and how they played their roles and followed the rules for the debate. You should give your student a maximum of 10 RP's if he captured the essential points for their position.

After the proposals have been adopted, announce the actions of the First Continental Congress and give your students time to mark them in their notes. They can discuss what really happened: Proposals 1 and 3 were adopted at the First Continental Congress in 1774. Have students determine the number of POWS they gained or lost as Loyalists gain 10 POWs for each proposal defeated, Loyalists gain 10 POWs, and for each proposal approved, Loyalists lose 10 POWs. Neutralists neither gain nor lose POWs.

They can now decide which Pressure Actions their characters will take. Students then record gains and losses of their own POWs.

Loyalist Faction Pressure Actions

1. Petition the king to punish the rebels. Cost 1 RP'S, Effect -2 RP'S.
2. See that the laws are strictly enforced. Cost 2 RP'S, Effect -5 RP'S.
3. Hire spied to gather intelligence. Cost 3 RP'S, Effect -5 RP'S.
4. Make sure the taxes are collected. Cost 3 RP'S, Effect -6 RP'S
5. Refuse to patronize a particular business. Cost 4 RP'S, Effect -8 RP'S
6. Boycott certain establishments. Cost 5 RP'S, Effect -10 RP'S
7. Have someone arrested. Cost 7 RP'S, Effect -14 RP'S
8. Hire Bodyguards to protect your business. (This stops all Pressure Actions against your business.) Cost 15, Effect 0.
9. Hire a gang of tough to rough up somebody. Cost 10, Effect -20.
10. Hire bodyguards to protect you. (This stops all Pressure Actions against you, your home and family.) Cost 30 RP'S, Effect 0.

Neutralist Pressure Actions

1. Write a protest letter. Cost 1 RPs, Effect 2 RPs
2. Petition the government. Cost 2 RPs, Effect 4 RPs
3. Attend a grievance meeting. Cost 3 RPs, Effect 6 RPs
4. Publicly criticize someone. Cost 4 RPs, Effect 8 RPs
5. Boycott merchandise. Cost 5 RPs, Effect 10 RPs
6. Refuse to pay your taxes. Cost 5 RPs, Effect 10 RPs
7. Refuse to permit troops to be quartered in your home. Cost 7 RPs, Effect 14 RPs
8. Join the Patriots by publicly announcing you are becoming a member of the Sons of Liberty. Cost 20 RPs, Effect 0 RPs
9. Join the Loyalists by publicly announcing you are a loyal subject of the King. Cost 10 RPs, Effect 0 RPs
10. Hire bodyguards to protect you. (This stops all Pressure Actions against you, your home and family.) Cost 20 RPs, Effect 0 RPs


This time the Fates are based upon where the characters live.

New  England Colonies Fates

1. You are hanged in effigy because you are a suspected Loyalist.  Lose 1 POW
2. The British strictly enforce the Intolerable Acts. Lose 5 POWs
3. You are arrested and accused of plotting against the crown. Lose 3 POWs
4. Because you have been accused of refusing to cooperate with the British authorities,  you are arrested and your property seized.  Lose,10 POWs
5. You unexpectedly inherit 5,000 pounds from your uncle. Gain 5 POWs
6. Your support for merchants impacted by the Boston Port Bill earns you friends and influence.  Gain 1 POW.

Middle Atlantic Colonies Fates

1. The authorities suspect you are smuggling.  While you are trying to escape, you break your leg. Lose 10 POWs
2. The troops quartered in town commandeer all supplies. There is no food left in the shops. Lose 5 POWs
3. Three shiploads of smuggled commodities land and are sold for good prices. Gain 1 POW
4. The local newspaper accuses you of being a paid informant for both the Loyalists and the Patriots.  Lose 1 POW
5. Your children are harassed by some other students and refuse to attend school.  Lose 3 POWs
6. The Sons of Liberty believe your wife is a Loyalist but you are able to convince them otherwise. Gain 5 POWs

Southern Colonists Fates

1. You are arrested and charged with burning the Governor's house to the ground.  Lose 3 POWs
2. Three shiploads of smuggled commodities land and are sold for good prices. Gain 1 POW
3. Because your state assembly announces its support for the city of Boston when the Boston Port Act closes the port, the British troops dissolve your state legislature.  Lose 10 POWs
4. You are elected to a leadership position by the state assembly.  Gain 5 POWs
5. The Sons of Liberty destroy the local general store  and so no supplies are left in town. Lose 5 POWs
6. You are hanged in effigy because you are suspected of being a Loyalist. Lose 1 POW.

Day 3: Play Military Rank Card Game

Military protocol demands that someone who is in the military must salute to a higher ranking officer. To learn the order of military ranks, we write the various ranks on index cards and then play the card game war with them. You will need at 50-100 cards for two people to play with so I usually print them out on cardstock from the computer and then cut them out to make it a bit easier.
The following list is a simplified ranking of the Continental Army soldiers during the American Revolutionary War (1775-1781), from the top rank down to the lowest rank.

Day 4: Military Maps and Timeline

On an appropriate map, have your student Label New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut  and Rhode Island and color these stares on color, adding a key to indicate that these are the New England or Northern colonies.  Have him label New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware and color these a different color, adding the Middle Colonies to the map key. Have your student label Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia to the map, and color them a third color and add Southern Colonies to the map key. Have him locate and label the major cities in each of the colonies.

On a separate map, have your student locate and label on the map Valley Forge and Morristown.  Also, have him find and label these battle sites. Also add the battles and their dates to the timeline:
Lexington /Concord, April 19, 1775 (war begins)
Bunker/Breed's Hill  (1775)
Fort Ticonderoga  (1775)
Trenton /Princeton (1776)
Saratoga  (1777)
Monmouth Court House  (1778)
Camden (1780)
Yorktown  (1781)

Day 5: First Continental Congress Test

1. What were the provisions of the Declaratory Act of 1766?

2. What were the events that led up to the Boston Massacre?

3. Why were the Committees of Correspondence important?

4. What were the provisions of the Quebec Act of 1774?

5. What were the provisions of the Intolerable Acts?

6. Who presented a moderate proposal for a Grand Council of the colonies?

7. What did the First Continental Congress of 1774 accomplish?

8. What were the provisions of the Townsend Acts of 1767? When and why were they repealed?

9. Why did the Tea Act of 1773 anger the American colonists?

10. What actions did the British government take as a direct result of the Boston Tea Party?


  • Renaissance, Peter Cakebread and Ken Walton 
  • Patriots, A Simulation and Resource Notebook on the American Revolution, Bill Lacey and Terry Handy, Interaction Publishers 
  • Independence, A Simulation of the American Revolution, 1763-1776, Charles Kennedy and Paul DeKock, Interaction Publishers, Inc.

1 comment:

  1. I amo so doing this next time we cover this time period, it is such a brilliant idea!


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