Wednesday, July 28, 2010

(Don't) Just Ask Ben

If you're looking for a resource with a lot of information about the U.S. government in one place, you might enjoy using Ben's Guide, a government website run by the Government Printing Office.

Ben's Guide is designed with children in mind; the site's content is broken down by age level (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, and P&T - parents and teachers).

You can use the website with preschoolers to find out more about symbols of government : the flag, the bald eagle, the Statue of Liberty, or the Liberty Bell. Elementary-aged children might be interested in understanding the election process. In middle school, you can discuss national versus state governments, and high schoolers might be interested in an in-depth look at the way laws are made.

For an additional challenge, why not invite your older children to analyze the rhetoric this website uses? Try to figure out if it has a "slant" in its presentation of the proper role of government, the responsibilities of state and national governments respectively, and the significance of immigration and citizenship.

Remember, even though this website might be a credible source of information, that doesn't mean you should read it with your brain set to "snooze". Think of all the great conversations you might miss!

Keep your eyes on my blog for periodic snippets of history and trivia about the workings of the U.S. government.

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