Today’s lesson touches ways to teach about the checks and balances of government to elementary aged kids. So here is a draft of the lesson I hope to present on Wednesday for the Utah Patriot Camp 2012. I want to crate activities for the kids that might help them compare govern to their own lives. I’ll see if this works.
Three branches of government so that one branch does not become too powerful over the others. James Madison was involved in setting up the government and saw how checks and balances could work better with an elected president instead of a King.
When people moved to America and created a new nation they wanted a say how their government was run. James Madison and other founding fathers came up with a government divided into three sections.
The President represents the Executive Branch –
• President: select a boy and girl to put on crowns and sit before the class.
Have the class partition the king for their favorite dessert. King says “No!” to all. You’re going to all have pickle cake each night for a week.
• The Executive at home is Dad and Mom. (Mom can I have some ice cream? Dad can I got to the movies with my best friend? Just like mom and dad law down the rules of the house. The president’s job is to make sure the rules and laws of the country are obeyed.
• President elected compared to a king who just become king because he was a son of a king. And he told everyone else what to do.
Congress: (has congressman and senators)
• The founding fathers wanted all the people to be America to be treated fairly. The big states thought “hey we’re big states we should have more say.” The smaller states, with less people in them said “that’s not fair we want to have the same kind of vote as you do.”
• Ask different kids where their grandparents live. As they name off a different state give that child two pennies. These two pennies are you state senators. They have the responsibility to do what you want. We elect senators every six years.
Divide kids into four states CA (53), NY (29) UT (4) WY (1)
• Have students divided up into groups by their favorite dessert. Pie one area, cake, cookies another. Pretend we’re going to have a big party at the end of the week. We’re going to have games, all kinds of food, even petting animals and a clown. But the clown is very expensive. So your parents say there can only be one dessert for everybody. Everyone at the party wants to decide what deserts to have and there is only one desert. You want your desert to win.
• Have a child stand up and talk about why their desert is best. Do others in the group agree? Elect that person to represent you.
Have the two biggest dessert kids