Ah...government. It's a bit of a dirty word these days, but never has there been more need to educate our children about the Constitution and how the US Government was designed and is supposed to work... (I mean, let's face it...the 2016 election made the 2000 election look well-organized and friendly.) On that note, we recently took a trip to our home state's Capitol Building, to learn about the three branches and how they work together.
Our Capitol offers free tours, and they offer some backstage information and areas for Scouts and other civic and service oriented groups. While this wouldn't crack the boys' top ten lists of favorite places they've toured, the follow-up conversation in the car on the way home was educational (for them) and insightful (for mom). They asked a lot of hard questions about the information they'd been told about how the government works....because it really doesn't jive with what they hear on tv and what they see in the world around them.One of the things that did impress them, however, was the beautiful architecture of the Capitol Building. The dome inside, which we learned took decades to finally get built, was splashed with color all over the inside, and topped with the indian statue (see top of this post). The statue was designed by a local artist from our hometown, which was a fun thing to learn!
While we weren't there when the legislature was in session, there are nice seating areas to watch the sessions, as well as sound-proof press rooms for the media. We've seen this particular room on the news several times, so it was interesting to see it in person.
Our final stop on the tour was the press room, where the Governor makes her speeches and announcements. While she wasn't there during our visit, our son had no qualms about stepping up to the podium and talking about how he believes our country should be run. .....luckily, most everyone had already left the room by that time! However, it does reinforce the notion that we need to educate the next generation about the good and the bad of government, and hope for a more civilized, better future for them.
Government Unit Study
- Complete Unit Study about Elections
- Elections Lapbook (free)
- Presidents Lapbook (free)
- Electoral College Map
- How the US Government Works
- Duck for President!
- If I Ran for President
- You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown
- Ken Burns' : Congress
- Inside the White House
- Schoolhouse Rock (several applicable songs)