Boston Tea Party


The lesson introduces students to the Boston Tea Party as one of the major events leading to the American Revolutionary War.  It is recommended that the lesson be used prior to a lesson related to the American Revolution, but it may also be used in conjunction with other lessons related to the war and American independence.  Most students should be familiar with the war, and have heard the term “Boston Tea Party”, but are not fully familiar with the facts surrounding the event.

Boston Tea Party Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about the Boston Tea Party
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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This particular lesson introduces the Boston Tea Party to students and discusses it as one of the events leading up to the Revolution.  The lesson includes facts that clear up some of the misconceptions and myths surrounding the event.  Relevant concepts like the Tea Act, East India Company, Sons of Liberty, and Intolerable Acts are discussed in the lesson, as well as some of the Founding Fathers like Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry.  The lesson can be used as an introduction to the American Revolution.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask students: Have you ever wanted to protest something? Why?  Describe the situation.
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask: What do you think of when you hear the words Boston Tea Party?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Lead the discussion to the events leading to the American Revolution.  Ask students what they might know about the American Revolution.
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce the Boston Tea Party.
  5. Distribute Boston Tea Party content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. tribute Activity pages. Read and review the instructions.  Group students in 3s or 4s.  Allow students time to discuss and respond to the questions as a group and then individually.  Encourage students to spend at least 5 to 10 minutes on each question, and to respect each other’s opinions.  (Responses will vary to each of the questions.
  7. Once completed, the groups will share their responses, sharing agreed upon responses, and those they debated the most. Allow the class to ask and respond to each group’s responses.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  10. In closing, ask students: What do you think might have happened if the British never sent the low-priced tea to America?  Do you believe America would still have become an independent country?  Why or why not?

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources: 

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Social Studies

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Amber T.

Boston Tea Party

So wonderful! One of my favorite history eras.