Duplication | Return to our 1700s Town Meeting Simulation


  1. The instructor reveals that the following day, the class will participate in a town meeting simulation involving students as Loyalists, Patriots, and Neutrals from a 1775 town whose inhabitants must vote to decide whether their town will overall support the Loyalists or the Patriots.
  2. The instructor shows a floor plan of the physical set-up for the simulation and explains the format for the town meeting.
  3. The instructor leads the class through a focused brainstorming session of possible Patriot and Loyalist concerns that might emerge at the simulation while recording those ideas on easel-sized paper.
  4. The instructor distributes the roles, assigning each person a role. The instructor directs the students to collaborate as Loyalists, Patriots, and Neutrals to produce an ordered list of who will speak in what order at the meeting the next day.
  5. The instructor assigns the students the overnight challenge of reflecting upon their insights of life during the American Revolution period. They are to focus on the factual data, historical fiction information, and field trip experiences they have gathered to plan what their town meeting simulation character will say when he is introduced to the town meeting and what reasoned arguments he might propose during the discussion. We will also be focusing on use of voice, active participation, patient listening, and use of reasoned arguments.


  1. On the day of the simulation, the moderator/instructor explains the order of speaking and the time limits.
  2. The instructor begins the formalities of the session and begins to call the role-players to introduce themselves and give any views they might have about the situation. They start to debate pro or con to be a Tory or Patriot town. Just as it appears that the vote will be taken, the instructor creates an obstacle situation stating that there is a fire in town and that townspeople are needed to help extinguish it.
  3. The moderator asks permission of the townspeople to suspend the meeting in order to fight the fire and return at a later time. Prior to disbanding, they take a non-binding vote on townspeople political leanings through a simple majority voice vote as the moderator reads each person's name and records that personís vote as Patriot, Loyalist, or Neutral.
  4. The instructor takes the class to the cafeteria for lunch.


  1. After lunch, the instructor gathers the students for a debriefing meeting that focuses on a discussion of how each person felt as the person he was portraying. Students reflect on their use of voice, their use of reasoning skills, their use of evidence from a variety of sources, their role as a patient listening, and their role as an active participant.
  2. When the participants return to the town meeting, at a later date, they continue debate pro or con to be a Loyalist or Patriot town. In the interim, the instructor distributed obstacles and some of the townspeople are not present at this meeting.
  3. The instructor follows the same agenda for this meeting allowing each person to speak of recent incidents that might have altered a previous political feeling or leaning.
  4. When all have spoken, the instructor takes a simple majority roll call vote to determine the allegiance of the town. The instructor records the vote of each person as Patriot, Loyalist, or Neutral.
  5. The meeting is adjourned.


  1. The instructor debriefs the students inquiring about how each person felt as the people they were portraying.
  2. What reasoning points does each student feel were useful to the meeting?
  3. Based on the voting results of the meeting, what might each person have done differently?
  4. What was the difference between each personís first vote and the second vote after obstacles were imposed on specific individuals?
  5. If the vote were taken as each student's "colonial character," how would each student vote?
  6. If the vote were taken as each student living in 1999 based on the premise that Loyalist sympathizers would be voting against war and Patriot sympathizers would be voting for war, how would students vote?
  7. The instructor and students view the videotape of the sessions evaluating the footage for effective reasoning skills, use of voice, evidence of patient listening, evidence of active participation.


  1. First sitting: Welcome the townspeople to this important meeting. Thank them for the turnout. Thank the guest speakers for attending.
  2. Respecting the presence of both speakers, the townspeople in unison say "Long Live the King" and sing "Yankee Doodle Went to Town"
  3. Explain the order of speaking and the time limits:
  4. Facilitate the back and forth presentations of the speakers
  5. Prepare to call for a vote.
  6. After the townspeople get a chance to speak, and just as it appears that the vote will be taken, announce the obstacle of a fire.
  • Second sitting with debate back and forth.
  • Call for the vote.
  • Adjourn the meeting.
  • Debrief the members.
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    Last modified: January 27, 2008. Copyright © 1999 - Marjorie Duby - Inquiry Unlimited. All rights reserved.
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