Thomas Paine and “Common Sense”


Thomas Paine’s pamphlet “Common Sense” was published in 1776 and was a big influence on the American Revolution. In this lesson plan, students will learn about why Paine wrote the pamphlet and what it meant. They will also understand the effect media has on public opinion. This is a great way to teach students about our country’s history and the power of persuasion.

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Common sense is not always common. Just ask Thomas Paine. In 1776, he published a pamphlet called “Common Sense” that changed the course of history. It was a call to arms for the American Revolution, and it resonated with people who were tired of being ruled by an arrogant monarchy. The pamphlet was so influential that it’s still studied today in classrooms across the country. Students learn about Paine’s persuasive writing style and how he used logic and reason to convince people to fight for their freedom. They also explore the impact that media has on public opinion and how a single voice can change the world. Thomas Paine and “Common Sense” is an essential lesson in American history.

Additional information


3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade


Social Studies

State Educational Standards

NCSS.D2.HIS.6.3-5, NCSS.D2.CIV.10.3-5, NCSS.D2.CIV8.6-8

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.