We are doing a Civics and Government Unit. I made this packet for the kids because I couldn’t find a homeschool unit that covered everything I wanted to include. Not only are we covering the 3 branches of government, the Constitution and “basic facts” about the U.S., but we’re also going to cover some new material (for us)… how State and Local governments work, what the federal, state and local governments do for us, and what kinds of taxes we pay to help keep the government running.
3 Branches of Government:
If you’ve followed our blog for a while, you know that we circle around and cover this material at least once a year. Each time, review material we covered in the past and go into more depth on new topics. When we first covered this material, the kids were 2, 4, and 6. We used some simple worksheets and I made a set of Montessori 3-Part cards (you’ll find the link to those below). Another time, we started going into more depth about the Constitution and how it set up the 3 Branches of Government: the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. The 3 Branches of government worksheets are now part of the bundle.
This time around, I made the kids another activity for reviewing the 3 branches of government. They had to cut out the pieces on this printable, sort them and then glue them onto separate sheets for their history notebooks (Executive Branch, Judicial Branch, Legislative Branch). You could also use these for making a Civics Lapbook. I have one other set that I printed on cardstock that I mix up and am having them review on their own (checking their answers themselves now that they have these sheets in their notebooks).
Civics Review Questions:
Last fall, the kids started going over some basic civic information. This spring, I wanted to review a lot of the material they covered. I made a set of question cards that have QR Codes they can scan to check their answers. There is a free app (QR Code Reader) you can download to your phone or tablet. To use these cards, you’ll need to print out the cards and cut them out. Just point the camera at the code and the answer will pop up on your phone! Be sure to cut out the individual strips/cards, so the correct QR Code is read. For those who can’t or don’t want to use the bar codes, you can just ignore those (cut them out) and match them to the answer cards I made (which are included but not shown in the screen shot below).
These include questions about government and history such as:
- Why was the Declaration of Independence written?
- What are the three branches of government?
- What are the first 10 amendments called?
- What is the difference between the Senate and the House of Representatives?
It also has them identify landmarks (such as Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon), symbols (Liberty Bell, Great Seal) and more.
I also wanted to go over a few new things this spring. We’re going to talk about the Presidential Cabinet for the first time. We’ll also go over how a bill becomes law. This packet includes notebook pages to cover those two topics:
Once we were into the unit, I realized the kids needed more time and explanation about the various Cabinet positions. So, I added in 5 pages that have a bit of description about the basic responsibilities of each department. For example,
- Department of State – the department responsible for international relations
- Department of the Treasury – manages federal money by collecting taxes, paying bills and managing currency, public debts, and government accounts
There is one page that just has a description (like the examples above). One page is a matching sheets. The other pages are matching cards, so students can match the Department with its description.
The other new topics we’ll cover this spring is a bit about our State Government. We’ll look some basic facts about our state — the capital, largest cities, where most people live (urban areas? suburbs), the types of taxes our state collects and things like that. The notebook page I made is generic, so it will work for any U.S. state.
What are some of the responsibilities of our federal, state and local governments?
Once we’ve talked a bit about our state and local government, we’ll delve into some of the services the federal, state, and local governments provide for us. I included the list of services that I plan to talk about with the kids, though this list is by no means complete! Just think of all the agencies and responsibilities our governments have! I tried to touch on some of the major responsibilities (transportation, health, education, etc.) and the kids will jot down a few of the things we talk about in the chart you see below. (Well, that you can just barely see beneath all that red lettering!)
Finally, the last topic that we’ll touch upon is taxes. My kids are currently 7, 9, and 11 so we will only touch briefly upon the different types of taxes that American citizens pay… but we’ll talk about income tax, payroll tax, sales tax, fuel tax, etc.
Our Civics & Government bundle is now available!
Once you pay for this packet, you will immediately receive a link to download this file (which will open in a browser window). You will also receive an email from Sendowl (the service I use), which will have a link you can click on to download the two Civics and Government Packets. (It will say, “You can download your digital products…” with a clickable link.) Of course, if you have any issues just email me at — liesl at homeschoolden dot com. You can also reach me by using the contact form on the blog or can reach me over at our Homeschool Den Facebook Page.
By the way, here are some of the books we used to go over the Preamble to the Constitution and the Constitution itself:
- We the People (affiliate link) was a really great way to introduce the Preamble and help the kids understand what each term means. There are lots and lots of illustrations to go with each phrase. I highly recommend this book!
- We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States (affiliate link) is geared more for younger kids. The illustrations are really appealing to younger kids.
- A More Perfect Union: The Story of Our Constitution (affiliate link) does a good job of giving the context of how the Constitution was written. Its illustrations are appealing for elementary students.
- We used the The Bill of Rights (Cornerstones of Freedom: Third) (affiliate link) by Lucia Raatma to go over each of the 10 Amendments. This was good for my older kids.
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links to books above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
- Largest countries
- Population facts
- Major world religions
- Facts about the World: longest river, largest desert, wettest and driest places on Earth, tallest mountain, deepest spot in the ocean, etc.
- Facts about the US: largest/smallest state, capital, highest mountain, longest river, rivers & lakes sheet, largest cities, neighbors
- Blank fact sheet pages for: Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa
- Famous world landmarks
Or click here to purchase in our stor $6.99 World Facts Packet
US Landmarks and Symbols Cards: When the kids were little, we often used Montessori 3-Part cards. Click on the card to take you to that post and the cards I made:
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