Activities for Learning About US Government Decision Making

Sometimes the most obvious solutions are overlooked. Last week a colleague asked me if I knew of any simple online activities for teaching US Government to elementary school students. I told her about the Center on Congress at Indian University which is a great resource, but I forgot to mention Kids in the House from the Office of the Clerk in Washington, D.C.

Kids in the House provides great games and activities for elementary and middle school students to learn about the functions of the House of Representatives. Students can play games or go on short virtual field trips through the Kids in the House website. Kids in the House hosts a nice glossary of terms that students can use to find the definitions of vocabulary terms they discover in their activities on the website.

Applications for Education
Kids in the House could be used for students to do some independent learning because the glossary provides students with the definitions for terms that may be new to them. For teachers looking for activities that they can do with the whole class at once, Kids in the House provides a set of lesson plans with printable worksheets and information recording forms to accompany various activities on the website. Kids in the House also provides a downloadable activity booklet that teachers can give to their students.

In addition to games and interactive activities, Kids in the House provides diagrams and charts that students can explore to learn about the functions of the House of Representatives. The How Laws are Made section of Kids in the House is designed for younger students, but could still be useful for high school students.


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