Thoughts on teaching, learning, technology, and leadership from the field

Category Archives: Citizenship

This is the email I sent to our Social Studies teachers this morning… 

We know that kiddos are going to be coming to you this morning with lots and lots of questions. If you’re wondering what to tell kids when they ask, remind them that the Framers of the Constitution designed the branches of government to check and balance one another; that no president has all of the power; that change in this country is a process and requires compromise. And that this was a very, very close race. Not everyone who voted for either candidate agreed with everything the candidate said or promised. And that campaign promises aren’t as easy to enact as candidates make it seem.

I’ve sent out this Politics in the Classroom guideline a few times and it’s been in the WAIP but wanted to send it again. Remember board policy, as well as best practice, includes the requirement that teachers be fair and impartial in their discussions with students.

Here are some short videos and games to talk about the powers of the president, branches of government, and checks and balances, if you need them.

Ben’s Guide to Government – areas for all ages – I like the Branch O’ Mania game for looking at different branches of government

BrainPop has several good videos in their election series, including the branches of government and the powers of the president.

Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances – Video, Best for Secondary Kids

Executive Command game – good for secondary students, simulate a day in the life of a President and the powers they have/don’t have.

Civic Responsibility Launcher game – great for lots of ages. Your elementary kids can play this whole class if it’s projected – helps talk about what good citizens are and do.

Yours in the pursuit of excellence in Social Studies and civics,

Amy Lynn Mount


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Sharing a flyer with live links to elections resources for teachers and schools. This is already a very busy political season – and the fall will be even hotter. Arm  yourself with information and resources!

SS Election 2016 Resources – PDF