Fourth grade social studies: Branches of Government
Ah, the workings of government! The fourth grade year is the year when our children begin to learn the way our government works and why it is unique in the world. Without entering into a political conversation, or a debate of the merits or pitfalls of our way of government, it is important that our children understand the basics of its structure. The Founding Fathers, drawing on their experience with the British government decided that the United States needed a strong government, but one that could not get out of hand. To that end, they developed a set of checks and balances that would keep any one part of the government from overstepping its bounds. The way they hoped to accomplish that was to divide the main government into three separate but equal branches. The executive branch consisted of the President and the Vice-president. The legislative branch consists of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The judicial branch consists of the Supreme Court. For our forth graders, the most important part of this is that it was no accident that our government was set up that way, and that we were the first country in the world to ever set up a government in such a way. There are several places on the internet that detail the functions of each branch, and how the three branches balance each other. Good luck with this study.