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Investigating taxes in your life


Students play a game to explore how tax revenues pay for various activities and services they encounter in daily life.

Big idea

Governments use tax revenues to pay for programs, services, and resources that people need.

Essential questions

  • What’s the connection between taxes and my everyday life?
  • What types of resources and services are paid for with tax dollars?


  • Distinguish between things you encounter in your daily life that are paid for with tax dollars versus private funds
  • Identify additional government services, programs, and resources that are paid for with taxes

What students will do

  • Listen to scenarios from a day in an American teenager’s life and determine whether or not each activity or resource presented was paid for with tax money.
  • Brainstorm about government services, programs, and resources that are paid for with taxes.

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Teacher guide


Note: Please remember to consider your students’ accommodations and special needs to ensure that all students are able to participate in a meaningful way.