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Thomas Paine Common Sense Lesson Plans | Common Sense Quotes


Thomas Paine's political pamphlet Common Sense was an enormously impactful document of the Revolutionary Era. Because it was written and reasoned in a style that is easily understood, the pamphlet became wildly popular. It stoked the fires of revolution and provided intellectual ammunition to revolutionaries across the the colonies. With these activities, students will examine one of the most significant political writings in American History and be able to summarize the main arguments Paine had in his work and connect them with how this pamphlet became a catalyst for revolution.

Student Activities for Common Sense Include:




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Background of the Common Sense Pamphlet

There are certain events, documents, and speeches that have an enormous impact on the public opinion and actions of citizens. While many colonists were unhappy with the treatment from their government across the ocean, there was a limited number of people willing to commit treason against their king and country to make change. Common Sense was a document that incited many people to join the revolutionary movement.

Published on January 10th, 1776, the Common Sense document quickly became both a best-selling pamphlet throughout the colonies and a call-to-arms for permanent separation with Great Britain. Paine's work not only summarized many of the arguments that Patriots had been proclaiming for years, but also convinced many colonists not to remain indifferent to this revolution.


Essential Questions for Common Sense

  1. Who was Thomas Paine and how did he contribute to the American Revolution?
  2. What was Common Sense and why was it so influential to the American colonists?
  3. What were the main arguments of the Common Sense pamphlet?

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