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How Government Works

Ben's Guide to the U.S. Government for Kids

Ben's Guide is compiled and maintained by the Government Printing Office. It provides information and activities specifically tailored for educators, parents, and students in K-12. Information for students is tailored to grade levels (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12). Depending on the grade level, the site provides information on the following topics: our nation, historical documents, branches of government, how our laws are made, national vs. state government, election process, symbols of U.S. government, citizenship, glossary, and U.S. government Web sites for kids. The links to other government Web sites may be accessed by government agency, by subject, or alphabetically. An extremely useful, well-organized resource.

How the U.S. Government Works. Betty Debnam. Kansas City, MO: Andrews and McMeel, 1995. Grades K-4.

A comic-book-like approach to understanding the workings of Congress, the Constitution, the executive branch, and the judicial branch. Very basic information with lots of drawings and photos.

How the U.S. Government Works. Syl Sobel. Happauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series, 1999. Grades 3-5.

Explains why government is necessary (“Can you imagine what your school would be like if each class had rules that were different from the rules in other classes? . . . And what if the school had no principal?”). Then goes on to describe what the three branches of government do. Readers learn how officials are elected or appointed and how government agencies work for the benefit of the people. Contains a glossary and index.

Social Studies for Kids

A portal to other Web sites geared for students that explain the three branches of government and how a bill becomes a law.

The Children's Books and Web Sites bibliography lists more kid-friendly literature about the U.S. government.