5 Ws for Common Sense

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for Common Sense


Thomas Paine Common Sense - 5 Ws

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Activity Overview


A great way to introduce students to significant events and documents is to have them answer the 5 Ws (Who Where What When Why). Together, the answers provide an analysis that can be used as a base for further exploration.

In this activity, students will use a spider map to analyze the Common Sense pamphlet and it's effects on the events leading up to the American Revolution. The analysis be done prior to reading Common Sense, as it will allow students to understand the historical significance of this book before they analyze Paine's specific arguments. It also introduces students to some of the key figures and groups that helped drive the Revolution, and situates the document within historical context.


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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a 5W analysis of the Common Sense pamphlet: Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title box for each cell, type Who, What, When, Where and Why.
  3. In the descriptions, answer the question.
  4. Create an image for each cell with appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.
5 Ws Template

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