Monday, February 2, 2015

Catching Up - Understanding the Government

Wow! It has been a long time since I updated things! Between being sick, the holidays, progress reports, and everything in between, I have a backlog of blog posts. Let's see if we can get everybody caught up on what's been going on in the Bairs' Den.

First of all we learned about the government of Pennsylvania. You may or may not know this, but Pennsylvania's government may not have seemed very unique to your child. Our Pennsylvania state government was actually the model that was used by the Founding Fathers to create the government of the United States! So many of the kids already knew the three branches of government from learning about the United States government in 3rd grade.

What was tricky to understand was the idea of checks and balances. Each branch of the government has special jobs to keep the other two branches from having too much power. To show this to the kids, we played a marble game. The students worked in groups of three to balance a marble on a triangle shaped piece of construction paper. We thought it would be SUPER EASY at first, and we quickly had marble bouncing all over the room! It took a little bit, each group of three soon realized that they had to work together in perfect balance to make things work correctly! Now if we could only get the government to realize that!

Check out the pictures below to see the activity:

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