Thomas Paine and Common Sense


US History The Revolutionary Era Thomas Paine and Common Sense
Students discover how Thomas Paine's pamphlet, Common Sense, helped turn the tide of the colonists to support revolution. They will learn about the initial response to Thomas Paine's writing. Next, they will consider the audience, language, and message of this pamphlet. Then they will work in groups to read and analyze excerpts from Common Sense to understand its meaning. Finally, they will write their own short persuasive essay from the point of view of an American colonist.

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Overview

In this experience, students discover how Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense, helped turn the tide of the colonists to support revolution. They will learn about the initial response to Thomas Paine’s writing. Next, they will consider the audience, language, and message of this pamphlet. Then they will work in groups to read and analyze excerpts from Common Sense to understand its meaning. Finally, they will write their own short persuasive essay from the point of view of an American colonist.

Students will work in small groups to analyze excerpts from Common Sense. There are four sets of excerpts, presented in scenes 4 through 7.

Objective:

  • Describe the impact of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense.


Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense, helped turn the tide of the colonists to support revolution. In this experience, you will learn about the initial response to Thomas Paine’s writing, and you will consider the audience, language, and message of this pamphlet. You will work in small groups to read and analyze excerpts from Common Sense to understand its meaning. Finally, you will write a short persuasive essay from the point of view of an American colonist.

Objective

  • Describe the impact of Thomas Paine’s pamphlet, Common Sense.




Thomas Paine, painting by Auguste Milliére


What are some ways that new ideas and opinions are spread today? To post more than one, separate them with a comma, like this: car, truck.

Post your answer

Students will probably post television, Internet, and social media as some of the main ways that new ideas are spread.

You may want to ask the class to think about how ideas were spread in the late 1700s, particularly between the colonies. 


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