Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Taxes Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Taxes, and supports the standard of analyzing the purpose of taxation and its impact on society. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Display an image of a receipt that includes sales tax, like the one shown below:

Ask students: 

  • What is sales tax and why is this on almost everything we purchase?  
  • What percentage of the subtotal is the sales tax? 

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read aloud the description on the Taxes topic page
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE

Students express what they learned about taxes while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs. 

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a PSA that answers this question: How do taxes help provide services that benefit communities? (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)
  • Make-a-Map: Make a concept map describing the purpose of collecting taxes from citizens and identify three examples of how taxes can support a community. (Essential Literacy Skill: Cite specific evidence to support conclusions drawn)
  • Creative Coding: Code a learning game sorting taxes and tax-funded services as federal or state. (Essential Literacy Skill: Acquire and use domain specific words and phrases)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students take the Taxes Challenge, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Taxes Quiz

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

Economics Unit: Continue to build understanding around economic concepts with more BrainPOP topics.

Additional Support Resources:

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