Government Unit Resources

Here's a list of the resources we used while completing our US Government Lapbooks...


We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
Shh! We're Writing the Constitution
My Senator and Me
Yo, Millard Filmore
Lives of the Presidents: Fame and Shame
What President's are Made of
George Washington (by Marian Leighton)
Who Was Thomas Jefferson
Presidents of the United States (Level 3 Reader)
Lyndon B. Johnson: Young Texan
How the US Government Works
Making a Law ( A True book)
The Supreme Court (A True Book)



Teaching the Constitution

Understanding Taxes

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Congress For Kids

Ben's Guide to the US Government for Kids

US Mint


Barack Obama Presidential Notebooking pages

Presidents Coloring Book

What's Great About America- lesson plans and materials

Constitution Coloring Book

Bill of Rights


Branches of Power

Texas Law Focused Education

Name that President

Thinkquest- Presidents

**The ones we used for multiple topics were Ben's Guide and Congress for Kids**

And I should probably mention the website I used more than any: Google Image Search. It's a wonderful resource if you make your own lapbook templates and want more than cartoon-like clip art.


US Government Lapbook- Elementary Edition

Minus a few little details, they are done.

A run down of the mini books included in their lapbooks:

1. Money: a run down of money fact
2. Term Limits: Limits and term lengths of the President, Congress and Justices
3. Taxes: Facts on Tax
4. Branches of the Military
5. The Election Process

6. The Judicial Branch
7. The 3 Branches of the Governement
8. What is a Democracy
9. The Founding Fathers

10. How a Bill becomes a Law
11. Responsibilities of the People
12. The Bill of Rights
13. Vocabulary pocket

14. President Barack Obama facts
15. Government Services pocket
16. Local TN Government Officals
17. Presidents of the US (Coloring Pages in mini)

18. My Favorite President...they chose completely random ones like Grover Cleveland and Chester Arthur

19. The Constitution- they wrote the preamble

And that is it....

I plan on writing up all my links, books and resources in the next few days to share. Almost all of the mini books were created by me- with the exception of the President Obama and mini president coloring pages.


US Government Lapbook- Preschool Edition

The big boys have been studying the US Government for the past few weeks, and since they are making a lapbook to go along with our studies, I made Cohen his own version to go along with it.

Here's the inside with the flap closed:

On the center flap he has a constitution coloring book, a pocket holding president's names he wrote, and a person-shaped book about citizen responsibilities.

Underneath is this:

The 3 branches of government, a wheel of the Founding Fathers and a 'My favorite president..." book.

TN Government

Divisions of the Military

Money, Who Was the First President, and Our President Is...

Inside the Money book....

On the back is his Constitution

And a book on the Bill of Rights

His was a lot of cutting and gluing, handwriting practice, and listening to our discussions. A few of his books- like the Branches of Government and the Bill of Rights book were cut up from the resources I was using while reading.

The big boys should finish up their lapbooks on Monday, so I will share those then.


What President's Are Made Of

During our government study this week we have been talking about presidents, a lot. One of the books we have enjoyed is called What Presidents Are Made Of It has little blurbs about different presidents and the illustrations are made up of the facts given. Richard Nixon's head is a tape recorder and his nose is an ear. Andrew Jackson has bullets for eyes and a revolver for his mouth. Today we made our own:

Here is Rutherford B. Hayes. He was the first president to use a telephone- thus the phone cord hair and beard and the telephone mouth. His phone number was #1 (his nose) and the lemonade glass eyes represent Lemonade Lucy and the fact that alcohol was not permitted at the White House during his presidency. (by Rylan)

Here is John Quincy Adams. He placed the first billiard table in the White House and while he was president he had a pet alligator. He wore the same hat for 10 years- even though neighbors complained. He also liked to swim in the Potomac River every morning- naked. (by Cohen- and me)

And finally, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Who liked to collect stamps- and had a collection of more than 25,000. He had a collection of miniature pigs in the White House. And he smoked more than a pack of cigarettes a day. (by Cale)


On A Sunny November Day

There's nothing better than a 70 degree day in November. Full of the sunlight we've been craving since the time change. We spent the morning at the park and the afternoon in the yard...
We made sidewalk paint. It's a real easy recipe:

corn starch
food coloring

mix it up so it is the consistency of a thin paint and you're done

Then we grabbed the brushes and decorated the driveway

With houses and faces and names and Jackson Pollack inspired splatter

Then took a break to give the littlest a ride in his truck

Rylan didn't want to spend his time painting. He had work to do.

Spend some time with our favorite girls

And the big Guys....this is Charlie. He's the Alpha rooster

And his side-kick, Napoleon, with the crooked toe

We finished with the started out with jumping, but after one or 2 accidental slips in the leaves that covered the surface it became a falling down, laughing pile of boys


Weekly Wrap-Up

This has been a busy week for us...

  • Monday started with our weekly co-op classes in the morning. We only have a couple more classes this semester, but my boys have really enjoyed it this time around. We took a break for a year but I think they were ready to go back. It helped that I am one of their teachers too.
  • Tuesday we had our monthly Cub Scout Meeting. Rylan and Cale both recieved beads toward their current badge. I made these excuse to try our new cake and frosting recipes. These were chocolate with toasted meringue frosting.
  • We have swimming lessons every Wednesday morning- at least until Dec. 2nd. Rylan is pretty scared of the water, neither him nor Cale can swim. But for the past 5 weeks we have gone to Maryville College for our lessons from college student taking a class for aquatic education.
  • We also began our unit/lapbook on the American Government. So far we've covered the founding fathers, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the branches of the government....and some other things. Today we began on the presidents. Rylan LOVES the presidents. It's the one thing he's consistently been interested in for years. We will be going through next week, then I'll share our completed unit and resources.But for now...
Here's Cohen's constitution...I love 4 yr old writing

Cale's Government tree

  • We also got our chickens this week. We've got one weakling, but hopefully she'll pull through.
  • We had our Cub Scout den meetings on Thursday afternoon. I wish I had my camera, since the Tigers were learning about the Flag, the Pledge and having a flag ceremony. One of the boy's grandfather came in with a flag pole, different flags, showed them how to stand. He was a Cubmaster for his son's packs years ago and did great with them. They looked adorable standing in uniform all in a line like that.
  • And today is Paul's 30th birthday. He came home a little earlier from work today and we had crabcakes and peach cobbler for dinner

For more weekly wrap-ups, visit Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers.


Special Delivery

We've been expecting this delivery all week. But with the holiday yesterday, shipment was delayed. Upon waking this morning our phones were silent, and we were ready to wait another day. But at 9:00, on his way to class, Paul received a phone call from the main Post Office in Knoxville. We had a package. It arrived too late to make the truck heading to Maryville and Greenback. They could send it tomorrow, or we could come and get it.

Since Paul couldn't skip class, we did. We dropped our math books and mini-books and left. For a 45 minute drive to Knoxville. And as we walked to the counter, we heard them.

26 cheeping chicks in a box can be awfully loud.

26 cheeping chicks in a box were very loud on the 45 min drive home from Knoxville.

They quieted down a bit once those 26 cheeping chicks got their first drink of water, ate a little and stretched out under the heating lamp.

So for the next 4 or so weeks our playroom will be a mini-petting zoo. With these 26 girls, the 2 rabbits, crabs and the random cat or dog. Not to mention the 4 boys who want to hold them....but that is good...hand-tamed chickens are the best kind. One you don't have to chase down and will let you tote them around like a doll.


All work....and then play

We are a little late planting our cover crop this year, but this afternoon we spread the winter wheat seeds on all of our beds.

I spread the seeds, Rylan raked them in....
Cohen and Lakin.....and eventually Rylan and Cale stomped around the garden to push the seeds down a bit...

Bandit helped too...he's quite the gardener

While most of us were in the garden Cale was raking the leaves....

So that when you are done working...

You can have a little fun.

To bury your self in leaves

Pose for the camera, with my favorite smile

To throw as high as you can

Then throw them at the camera, and my face.


Number Games/Tricks

Here are some number games/tricks we've been playing around with lately...


step 1: Write a number
step 2: add 9
step 3: double the new number
step 4: subtract 4
step 5: divide the new number by 2
step 6: subtract your original number

your answer, with no exceptions, is 7


155 + 9= 164 164 x 2= 328 328 - 4= 324 324/2 = 162 162 - 155= 7#2

Step 1: In what month were you born? Write the number that stands for that month (1 for Jan, 2 for Feb...etc)
Step 2: Double that number
Step 3: add 6
Step 4: Multiply your new number by 50
Step 5: Add the day of your birth (if you were born on June 15, add 15)
Step 6: Subtract 365
Step 7: Tell me your answer, and I'll tell you your birthday.
(To determine the birthday add 65 to the answer above, then divide that number into a numerically written date- a slash between the tens and hundreds place) and that will be the birthday)

Example of an Oct 31 birthday:

10 x 2= 20 20 + 6= 26 26 x 50= 1300 1300 + 31= 1331 1331 - 365= 966

966 + 65= 1031 or 10/31

Step 1: pick a number between 1-99
Step 2: multiply by 2
Step 3: add 35
Step 4: multiply by 5
Step 5: subtract 155
Step 6: multiply by 10
Step 7: subtract 200
Step 8: cross off the last 2 digits (tens and ones place) and you will be left with your original number


54 x 2= 108 108 + 35= 143 143 x 5=715 715 - 155= 560 560 x 10= 5600 5600 - 200= 5400....cross off the 2 zeros and you are left with 54


On clocks and time....

Right now in the co-op class I am teaching we are finishing up telling time. Here's a couple things we've done in the past couple weeks to help the kids learn how to tell time....

We made the standard paper plate clock....They cut and glued all the pieces then we worked on setting the clocks for certain times. We manipulated a paper clock to see how the half and quarter hours cut the clock. The paper clock we used has helped them all tremendously. I printed it from Aussie Pumpkin Patch and they have all used it to help them get quicker at reading the time with out having to count by 5's all they way around each time.

We had a life sized game board set up around the room. I printed a bunch of blank clocks and drew the times I wanted. We were focusing on tell the time to 5-minutes and seeing that the hour hand doesn't point directly at the hour, that it moves closer and closer to the next hour as each minute passes. They kids really enjoyed throwing the oversized dice and walking the board. They did really well at the time-telling too.

These are the prizes for 'winning' or completing the game. White and milk chocolate clock faces.

We also played clock-face go fish. It can also be played as rummy or as memory/concentration. Since we were running out of time we did move from Go Fish! to just spreading and matching the digital time to the clock face. The times on these cards were to the minute.

We are making a lapbook in our class, so all of these pieces...the paper plate clock, the Go Fish cards, and a mini version of the clock-face game board will be included for them to play with at home too.