How the government uses taxes
How the government uses taxes

How the government uses taxes

I can identify the services taxes provide and tell why that is important.

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In this lesson, students will learn about different types of taxes that people in the United States have to pay. They will discuss the things that are funded by taxes and the difference between federal and state taxes.

Note: Different states have different tax regulations, especially with sales tax on groceries. You can customize Slides 7 and 8 to fit your state.

Learning objective

Students will be able to identify the services taxes provide and tell why that is important.


Students will think about a time they went shopping and were charged something extra: a tax. They can see it on a receipt. Students will look at some of the things our taxes fund, such as roads, schools, and firefighters. They will take a look at some services that are funded by taxes, like wait staff, dentists, and plumbers.


They will read sentences and decide if the bolded things/services would be paid for by taxes. They will look at the different ways people in the United States pay taxes: property tax, income tax, and sales tax. Then they will look closer at sales taxes. (Disclaimer: please change according to your state.) They will then sort different types of foods to determine whether they are taxed or not taxed.

Students will then discuss state taxes and what they fund. They will also look at different things that federal taxes fund. They will do an activity sorting what is funded by state and federal taxes. They will then discuss questions about taxes with a partner.


Students will answer a variety of true/false and multiple-choice questions about taxes.


Have students recall what they learned in the lesson. Lastly, they will choose a service worker from their community to write a letter describing the importance of their working and thanking them.

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