Grade Levels: K-3

In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about the branches of government. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Branches of Government topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About the Branches of Government

Dear Representative
What could be improved in your community? Brainstorm different issues students are concerned about and discuss ways that these issues could be addressed. Then find out who the representative is in your district, and have students write him or her a letter or e-mail regarding the community’s issues or concerns. This is a great opportunity to teach how to write a formal letter or e-mail. You may want to watch the Sending a Letter movie for review.

Model Government
Turn your classroom into Congress! Have students nominate and vote for a class president (or you can act as the president). Candidates may want to make short speeches to explain what they would do as president. Then divide the students into senators and representatives and have them create a bill that can be turned into a classroom “law.” Students can discuss and debate the advantages and disadvantages. Then have the Senate and the House vote on the bill. If the bill passes both houses, it can be sent to the president. If the president decides to sign it, then it can turn into a law. If the president vetoes, then he or she should prepare a written paragraph explaining the veto and the bill can go back to Congress for another vote to override the president. The bill would need a super majority, or two-thirds of the vote, to pass. Afterward, talk about how the system of checks and balances helped make sure the class law was fair and enforceable.

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About the Branches of Government

House Constitution
Review with your child that the United States Constitution is the set of laws of the country that explains how the government should be organized and run. Describe some laws that are in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Then, together with your child, draft a Constitution for your family or home. What “laws” do you want to include in your own Constitution? Brainstorm different ideas and write them down together. You may want to post it in your home as a reminder.

President for a Day
Have your child imagine what it would be like to be president. You may want to discuss and review the president’s duties, including being the head of state and commander-in-chief. What would your child do as president? What issues would your child address? Have your child write an essay, paragraph, or blog post.