Branches of Government Games for Kids

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

When students understand the three branches of government, they are better equipped for civic participation. The games in this lesson will enhance students' understanding of how the government works.

Why Learn the Branches of Government?

Are you interested in helping your students learn more about how they can be active participants in their society? The first step is to make sure they understand how the government works. When children understand that the government is organized into three different branches, they can make sense of how laws and important decisions are made. They will also understand some of the ideas that go into the foundations of the country. One great way to teach students about the three branches of government is to have them play games. When students learn about government through games, they not only have fun but also experience learning as something enjoyable. The games in this lesson will teach your students about the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

Games for the Executive Branch

Can Do, Can't Do

One interesting aspect of the executive branch of government is how the president has a lot of powers, but cannot make unilateral decisions about most things. Create sets of index cards to play this game. Half of the cards should have things presidents can do, like veto bills or declare war. Half should have things that presidents cannot do, like turn bills into laws or pass a budget. Break your students into partnerships, and ask them to sort their cards into piles of things presidents can and cannot do. See which group can complete the sort the quickest!

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