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Intergenerational Learning Activities: Government and Civics

Grandparents are highly engaged in American political and civic life.  Adults age 50 and over are more likely to pay attention to the news and rely upon a wide array of sources to follow public affairs. Older adults vote, contact public officials, and frequently serve on public community advisory boards.

Using these resources, grandparents and older adult volunteers can inspire new generations to become more involved in the democratic process.  With the support of the Verizon Foundation and resources from Thinkfinity.org, this government and civics guide provides brief activity descriptions geared toward a broad range of ages. We encourage you to submit additional suggestions and to connect with other older adults in an online user group designed for grandparents and volunteers with similar interests.

Pre-k to Grade Three:

  • Find a great list of books to read with young children about elections, Congress, the Judiciary, the Presidency, the Constitution, and the American Flag
  • Take a Tour of the Capitol with A. Bill featuring fun coloring pages, mazes, and games to find out how laws get made
  • Create puppets together to explore different roles in the House of Representatives
  • Learn about the Supreme Court and help children test out their arguing skills

Grades Four to Eight:

  • Try out these games together to learn how government affects children, become president for a day, and step into a voting booth
  • Enjoy an interactive tour with Uncle Sam as you journey through American Independence, discover the Constitution, explore the branches of government, and uncover the responsibilities of citizenship
  • Play house on the first day of Congress
  • Compete to see who knows more about the Constitution
  • Build a simulation community to find out how city and local governments work
  • Take a seven hat challenge to learn more about the various roles of the U.S. Presidency

 Grades Nine to Twelve:

  • Get to know the U.S. Representatives serving your district, identify current legislation important to teens, and learn about women and African American experiences serving in Congress
  • Research legislative committees and learn how to retrieve bill summaries to learn how representation can affect your state’s interest
  • Tackle the mystery of why more voters don’t vote
  • Make difficult choices on how to use tax dollars to fund a variety of federal programs

Additional Resources:

The Futures Festival: Intergenerational Approaches to Community Participation


Scholastic Civics Resources

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