Mon. 9/26 – Thomas Paine: Common Sense

Today we will be looking into the political ideas of Thomas Paine and the influence that his work “Common Sense” had in the early stages of the American Revolution.

Learning Targets

I CAN identify Thomas Paine as the author of “Common Sense”

I CAN explain why Thomas Paine was such a key figure in the American Revolution.


Please list 3 reasons why someone would want to run away from home.

We will be sharing our answers in about 5 min.

As people share their ideas we will list our  responses  on the board.

Now that we have our list, I would like to look at our ideas and ask ourselves “Could these motives for running away be similar to the feelings that colonists were feeling before the Revolutionary War?”

At this point in history America is about 17o years old.  If we were to cut the O from the end of 170 (making the idea that civilizations grow 1 year in age for every 10 years for humans) America would be about 17 years old.

And as a teenager, America is experiencing many of the same problems that were listed on the board by us with their parent country Great Britain.

This is where Thomas Paine comes in and states that because of all of these problems it is only “Common Sense” for the colonies to break away from Great Britain.

The Main Course

Advanced American History:

The class will divide into table groups and read the following handout about Thomas Paine:


As a group they will answer the two following Questions:

1.Why was Thomas Paine’s writing so effective with the colonists?

2. What are the 4 main reasons Paine provides to justify the break with Great Britain?

American History:

We will copy the following notes in our class notebook:

Power Point: thomas Paine’s little book

To help reinforce the connect between Thomas Paine and the Declaration of Independence, students will complete the following reading and crossword puzzle:



Additional Resources:

paine quote


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s