Common Sense by Thomas Paine, 1776

One of the most influential documents written in the US during the struggles with Britain, this pamphlet offers an opportunity for students to read some of the arguments made for separation.

We have included an excerpt with questions and answers.

For more on this era check out our PowerPoints:

  • Colonization to Reconstruction:
    U.S. History Review
  • Colonial Era
  • The American Revolutionary War
  • First Industrial Revolution in America: 1790-1860
  • The New Nation: Washington to John Quincy Adams
  • Simulation games:

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    1. Hello, I wanted to introduce you to an adapted version of Common Sense (plus adaptations of other founding documents that Paine refers to in Common Sense) that has been added into public schools and homeschool curriculum nationwide: The Elementary Common Sense of Thomas Paine; An Interactive Adaptation for all Ages. I’m a fifth-grade teacher in Colorado, and have been developing civics education that encourages our youngest citizens to read our nation’s founding documents. The book contains a dozen activities, and those activities can be downloaded for free from the website as well. I apologize if this sounds a bit like a commercial, but I thought you might appreciate that Paine is being read by students from ages 10 and up. The book’s interactive website (and description) is at My best regards, Mark Wilensky

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