In this set of activities adaptable for grades K-3, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about local and state governments. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Local and State Government topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.
Classroom Activities for Teaching About Writing a Paragraph
Encourage your students to be active members of their communities. Brainstorm ideas that can help improve the entire community. Ideas can include a new park or community center, a new public library, programs to help the homeless and underserved neighborhoods, activities for the young or elderly, etc. Then start a letter-writing campaign in your class, grade, or school to your mayor. This will also provide an opportunity to teach how to write a business letter.
Encourage your children to vote in their school elections. If the school does not have a student government for the lower grades, consider electing a class president each week to give multiple children a chance to be an elected leader. Remind students that they should think about concerns in their school or classroom and vote for the person who they think will do the best job and represent their views. If possible, organize a debate among candidates and to discuss the issues. You may also want to hold an election for a class leader who can act as a liaison between students and yourself. This can help address your students’ concerns and encourage them to become active community members.
Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Writing a Paragraph
Together with your child, find out who leads your local government. Who is the mayor? What experience does he or she have? Learn about the backgrounds of your community leaders and encourage your child to communicate his or her concerns about the community. What can be improved in the community? How? Attend a meeting sponsored by the local government, such as a town hall meeting or a session of the city council. Encourage your child to be active and voice his or her concerns to government leaders.
State of the State
Visit your state’s website with your child. Find out about services your state offers and public programs that are relevant to children. Remind your child that the state government has many responsibilities. They run state parks and beaches; protect state land, water, plants, and animals; organize and manage state school systems; run state hospitals; organize programs that help homeless and people in need, etc. Who helps run the state government? Look for governor appointees on the state website to give your child an understanding of the vast number of people who are involved in running and leading the state.