Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How To Stay Out of Hot Water

Beth Brewington


What would the world be like today if a conflict that caused the Revolutionary War was resolved peacefully? Students will use their conflict resolution skills to role-play problems associated with the Boston Tea Party.


The student knows the difference between negative and positive behaviors used in conflict situations (eg., talking vs. hitting, passivity vs. action).

The student knows significant events between 1756 and 1776 that led to the outbreak of the American Revolution (for example, the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act, the Boston Tea Party).


-Boston Tea Party Checklist (see Associated File)
-Scrap paper
-Computer with Internet access
-Student texts
-Books from the library about the Boston Tea Party


1. Contact Peace Education Foundation for more information on the "I Care" Rules and Problem Solving Process. (1-800-749-8838)
2. Download "Boston Tea Party Checklist" from Associated File. Copy one per student.
3. Gather background history on the significant events associated with the Boston Tea Party.
4. Have materials available for students to research information about the Boston Tea Party (for example, student texts, encyclopedias, computer access to the internet).
5. Choose two students to act out an argument to begin the lesson. Give them specific directions as to what you need them to do to spark a discussion before class begins.


**Prior to this lesson, obtain information on the -I Care- Rules and Problem Solving Process by contacting the Peace Education Foundation at 1-800-749-8838.

1. To begin class, have two previously selected students “act out” an argument for all the others to see.

2. After a few minutes, stop the argument and open up a discussion.

3. Review the “I Care” Rules and the Problem Solving Process. What did students witness? Positive problem solving or negative problem solving?

4. Review the specific details about the Boston Tea Party. (Use chart paper.)

5. Distribute the "Boston Tea Party Role Play Criteria Checklist" (see Associated File) and explain that these will be the expectations of this activity.

6. Have students break into small groups . Explain that they are to plan a role play presentation about the Boston Tea Party, but with a twist. We know what happened in the past, now act out a scene that shows what might have happened if they had applied more conflict resolution skills.

7. Allow 10-15 minutes for role play preparation and practice.

8. Next, allow each small group time to present their presentation. The students in the audience can help with the assessment by using the checklist as a guide after each group presents.

9. Formatively assess the work with the students using the "Boston Tea Party Checklist" (see Associated File) and verbal discussions in between the presentations. The students will receive immediate feedback during lesson discussions.


Complete a formative assessment based on criteria found on the "Boston Tea Party Checklist" (see Associated File). The checklist will help check for student understanding of:

-conflicts between England and the Colonists because of different opinions about freedom, being self-governing, and taxes.

-the ”I Care” rules and the Problem Solving Process. Students will show how to implement these ideals in decision making, demonstrating knowledge of the difference between negative and positive behaviors used in conflict situations.

-the details of the events surrounding the Boston Tea Party

Attached Files

A checklist to formatively assess student performance.     File Extension: pdf

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.