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    Branches of government
    By Carolyn

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    I teach fifth grade, but I think your kids are old enough to do what mine do. How about considering having your kids role play the three branches of government? Assign one-third of each group of your class to a branch of government. (A good math idea, also.) Have them decide how many of your students would be in a branch of government if they divided the class into thirds for the three branches of government.

    Once your have your groups (let's say you have eight who are a member of the legislative group, eight who are members of the judicial group, and eight who are members of the executive group), have them work in pairs to come up with functions of their group. Have those who are in the legislative group come up with laws for your classroom (or school or community, if you wish). Have those who are in the judicial group decide if those laws are fair and just for the classroom. Have those who are in the executive group sign the bill to ratify the law or veto it. I think this is a fun activity and it gives them practical experience with how government actually works. Interesting discussions come out of this nad you can also gain some interesting insights into the minds of kids.

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