Friday, November 15, 2013

Government, Campaigns, and a plethora of freebies!

We have been all about government the past few weeks in 2nd grade! (OK really just this week because last week was full of craziness!) Check out what we've learned in our jam packed week and grab a few freebies along the way!!

To learn all about government, we are creating our very own town! (Our town will also come into play when we start economics) We've talked about what makes a community, including what rules are important to help a community run safely and wrote some rules that we would want everyone in our community to follow.  My kiddos worked in teams to come up with some laws... (They had like 8 minutes to come up with these!)  Then we met together and talked about a few of them..

We also talked about the fact that because we are a small community within our state and country that we have state and federal laws that we have to follow (Like obey traffic laws).

Then we talked about citizenship and the rights/responsibilities of citizens within a community (BrainPop Jr has a GREAT video about rights and responsibilities).  Students filled out this sheet...

(Click to save to your computer!)

Yesterday, we started learning about government leaders and their roles!  We discussed how the Mayor runs the local government and he is in charge of a town, the Governor is in charge of the state government and he is in charge of the state and all of the towns that make up the state, and the President is in charge of the National Government and he is in charge of the entire country.  We discussed how these leaders don't just lead on their own, they have teams of people that help them out.  

We talked about campaigns...

We talked about voting...

We talked about good leaders...

They wrote why they would be a good leader...

(Click on each of the pictures to save to your computer)

 Seriously, SO cute.  One promised to enforce limited poaching. ( I don't know where this class wide sudden obsession with limiting hunting, poaching, and protecting animals came from.  2 of my girls are starting a fund to collect money to try to help protect the bats from "White Nose Syndrome" that we recently read about!)

Today, we read a great article in Time for Kids about government.  We learned more about campaigns and, more particularly, debates.  We watched an example of a debate (I can't find it now but I'm sure if you just search on youtube you can find some appropriate for your kids).  Then, we had our own! Students pondered the positives and negatives to student being given a free cookie at lunch everyday.

Then, I chose which side they would be on and we debated!  

To make sure everyone had equal opportunity, we started with one side and let them make their point, then let the first person on the other side give their point/respond.  Next person on the other side and so on.  Hopefully eventually we can get to the point where they have a friendly debate without needing me to call on the next speaker.  I have a class full of talkers who love to have their voice heard so I think it would be fabulous!

I'm planning more debates to have throughout the year!  I've put together a few more.  Click the picture below to head to google docs to download the freebie.  There's even an editable one where you can add your own topic for debate!

All this in just 1 week! Crazy.  I've never really been a fan of our government unit but I am really enjoying it this year!

Until next time...

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