Artifact and Town Hall Meeting – Tarriff of Abominations

Topic: Tariff of Abominations 
CLI Strategy: Artifact and Town Hall Meeting
Subject: Social Studies 
Grade: Middle/High

Students will be able to: Make connections between their lives, worldview, and the Tarriff of Abominations.



  • Ask Students: What do you think is the actual cost for a t-shirt from “raw materials” to you? What steps are involved in this process?
  • Have students view an example page from modern tarriff book. (available on NPR Planet Money website) 
  • Ask questions to guide their thinking:
    • What do you notice?
    • What do you think influences tarriffs?
    • How does this impact you?

(Other Resources from NPR Planet Money About Producing, Taxing, and Sending a T-Shirt Around the World)

Talk Show/Town Meeting 

Prep Students

  • Who were some of the stakeholders in this Tariff?
  • Who do you think it would be important to? Why?

Select a “Role”

  • Tell students that you are going to have a talk show and that they should select a character to represent. Every student should have a character in mind, but you will choose a small group to come up and be the featured guests.
  • Have students write down the type of person that they will be playing and why or why not they are in support of the Tariff.

Going Into the Talk Show

  • Tell students that when you count down from 3 to 0 that you will be at the talk show and that they should ask and answer questions “in character”


  • What was your experience being in role?
  • What ideas influenced our perspectives?
  • Where else do we see taxes being imposed that causes conflict?

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