This week kicks off one of my favorites of the school year, tax week! I know, I know, your thinking taxes? How can taxes be fun?! Well, for the entire week students in my third grade class get a first hand look at what taxes were like for colonists around the time of the American Revolution and it couldn’t be better.
Today began with a greeting from King George III (me) dressed up with a paper crown. On each students’ desk was $5 of play money to use to pay for taxes. We gathered as a colony at morning meeting where I ran down the rules.
Taxes for day one included:
A chair to sit in
Asking for pencils to be sharpened (a full basket of sharp ones were available throughout the day)
Extra trips to the restroom (we took several “tax free” trips throughout the day)
Extra drinks at the water fountain
Not calling me King George
The kids were totally into it! I have been doing this for the last few years and it is a lesson that sticks with kids. As I walked up and down the hall, some of my former students greeted me with “Hi King George”, or “Hey is it tax week?!” So far so good this year too.
Students worked hard to not be taxed. At morning meeting I let them know that taxes could be imposed for anything at any time throughout the day. They were at the mercy of the King. Only a few students decided to pay the tax to get a chair to sit in for the day, the rest got creative as far as seating was concerned. There were also taxes levied against students who called out. I was a bit more lenient with the tax for not calling me King George. As the “accommodating and thoughtful” king I am (how I described myself to students), I agreed to not tax students who called me Ms. White, as long as they paid me a complement. Tomorrow I will keep the current taxed items or services and add a few more.
Reigning over a kingdom is hard work and so I enlisted the help of a few people. My classroom aide was my trusty Queen Charlotte and one lucky student was appointed as tax collector. A new tax collector will be selected for each day for the rest of the week. The tax collector has a pretty nice set up. Fun chair to sit in, front row center desk, name plate and a fancy folder to collect everyone’s taxes. Needless to say it’s a coveted position. It is also a perfect way to demonstrate different roles and the perks of being on the king’s good side. There is always extra tax money for the tax collector.
Any good ideas for taxable classroom items? Share them here! Sometimes it’s nice to travel without leaving the classroom. Not to mention, it’s good to be King!