Boston Tea Party Drawing

The fifth graders made boycott posters after we studied the various taxes Parliament levied on the American colonists. For our next session together, I did a draw-along as I taught them about the Boston Tea Party.

I drew on the white board and obviously wasn't able to photograph myself as I was teaching, but I did take pictures as I made my sample drawing. 


Boston Tea Party Drawing


  • white drawing paper
  • colored pencils


Orient your paper horizontally (landscape). With a brown colored pencil, draw the top portion of five rectangular prisms in the middle third of the paper. (I use geometry terms, like rectangular prism, when teaching directed drawings to reenforce what they are studying in math. This lesson integrates math, social studies and art with listening skills.)

Use red and blue pencils to draw the British flag on the front face of each prism. 

With a black pencil, add the word TEA and the logo of the British East India Company on the short faces of the rectangular prisms. Use the brown pencil to shade in the prisms to look like wooden crates.

Use a blue pencil to make short, horizontal strokes around the boxes to mimic water.

Use different blues and purples to fill in the water. Use greys and blacks to make shadows immediately below each of the prisms. 

Add "Boston: December 16, 1773" and "No taxation without representation!" to the poster. 

When our posters were done, we drank Liberty Tea (made with local fruits, herbs, etc) instead of British black tea. 

I always tell my students that studying history is a bit like reading a mystery book when you already know how it's going to end. They know that the American colonists are going to declare independence and that the United States will win the war against England, but how they accomplish that exceedingly unlikely result is fascinating. It's fun to help the students put the pieces together of what they already know with the who, what, when, where, why and how our country came to be. 

Next time, the Declaration of Independence!


  1. You make learning fun! Drawing/Coloring and then refreshments?!! Awesome! :0)

  2. You were born to teach! The students always look like they've had fun learning. :)

  3. Replies
    1. I have an explorer ship project that could be adapted for the time period.

  4. hi i am julia, you should make a whole scenee! not just some TEA!! It was fun making the pic tho...

    1. That's a fun idea, but I designed the lesson to fit in a single class period. If the drawing were an entire scene, it would take a lot longer to draw. But go for it! If you do, I'd love to see what you draw!


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