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Boston Massacre Trial

from Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

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This exhilarating reenactment captures the tensions in the town between the occupying force of British regulars and the Sons of Liberty. Your class will be greeted by John Adams, who will present a compelling argument in defense of Captain Thomas Preston and his soldiers, and Robert Treat Paine, who will contend that the soldiers should be found guilty of murder. Students play the role of witnesses, jurors, magistrates and British regulars in this emotionally charged reenactment of the historic trial held just months after the tragic event.

Program Rating

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About This Program


Point to Point: $250.00
Point to Point Premium: $225.00


45 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Minimum participants:

No Minimum

Maximum participants:

There is no maximum, but for optimum interactivity, we suggest no more than 60 students.

Primary Disciplines

Social Studies/History

Program Delivery Mode


Booking Information

Available September thru April

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Written notice of cancellation must be received by BTPS&M at least 15 calendar days prior to the scheduled tour date in order to receive a full refund of all payments received by BTPS&M.

About This Provider

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Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum

Boston, MA
United States

At the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum you can be a part of the famous event that forever changed the course of American history! Historical interpreters, interactive exhibits, full-scale restored 18th Century sailing vessels and historic artifacts are just a taste of what you will experience during your visit.

Paul Lurie

Program Details


1) Before the experience begins the students are given characters in order to participate in the Boston Massacre Trial.
2) The students are introduced to Samuel Winthrop, the Clerk of the General Court of Massachusetts, who lays out the different roles the children will be playing, introduces the structure of the court, and summarizes what the trial is about.
3) The students meet the two councilors in charge of the trial, John Adams and Robert Treat Paine. Adams and Paine lay out arguments for and against the soldiers using witness accounts (provided by the students) and evidence.
4) The students playing the jury are given a chance to deliberate, under the guidance of their teachers, using the facts and evidence presented to determine whether the soldiers are guilty or not guilty of the crime.
5) After the verdict is read, the students discover what historically happened in the trials and there is time for a question and answer session.


Participants will...

- Immerse themselves in the moment of the Boston Massacre Trial by taking on the identity of the jury, magistrates, witnesses, co-councils, and people of Boston. Each identity plays a specific role in the functioning of the trial.
- Analyze the testimonies, evidence, and facts presented by the council to determine the innocence or guilt of the soldiers held responsible for the Boston Massacre.
- Use critical thinking skills to deliberate with their peers to determine the verdict.
- Reflect on their decision making and explore the reasons for their verdict.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

NSS-WH.5-12.7 ERA 7: AN AGE OF REVOLUTIONS, 1750-1914
- the causes and consequences of political revolutions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

State Standards


USI.4 Analyze how Americans resisted British policies before 1775 and analyze the reasons
for the American victory and the British defeat during the Revolutionary war. (H)
USI.5 Explain the role of Massachusetts in the Revolution, including important events
that took place in Massachusetts and important leaders from Massachusetts. (H)