Government Systems

The components of our system of government include the legislative branch, the executive branch, the judicial branch, and, of course, the individual citizens of the United States. Each part works together in a check and balance sort of system.

Sample some of the following activities to learn more about the United States government.


Places To Go    People To See    Things To Do    Teacher Resources    Bibliography

Places To Go

The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to learn more about government and legal systems.

The U.S. House Of Representatives Visitor Information
Take a virtual tour of the Capitol and the House of Representatives.
Utah State Capitol Building
The Capitol has served the people of the state as the seat of all three branches of government and numerous state agencies.
Utah State Courts
Arrange for a tour of your local courthouse. It is usually located in the city which is your county seat. Observe a trial. Ask your parents if they've ever participated in jury duty and find out about the process.
Utah Territorial Statehouse
Fillmore in Millard county was Utah's first territorial capital. You can still visit Utah's first territorial statehouse in Fillmore. It's now a state museum.
Virtual Tour of the US Government
You can tour the White House, the First Lady's Sculpture Garden, or the old Executive Office Building.

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People To See

FirstGov Index of United States Governmental Departments and Agencies
This site provides a link to all the various United States government departments and agencies.
Thomas Jefferson Online
This site has teacher tips and related websites to help you understand how Jefferson influenced the United States government.
United States Senate
Nationally, we have 100 Senators and 435 members of the House of Representatives.
Utah House of Representatives
There are 75 districts for the House of Representatives in the state of Utah. You can find out who the legislator is from your district.
Utah State Senate Roster
Find out who the senator is that represents your county and how the state is divided into its districts.

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Things To Do

Find the constitution of any country in the world. What country has the oldest constitution? The constitution of Eritrea was adopted in July 1996. Where is Eritrea?
The Constitution of the United States
Find out how the deputies to the Constitutional Convention were chosen.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
The FBI actually has a children's page! From the menu on the left, select "Kids and Youth Educational Page" to learn more about the criminal law system. The FBI also has a Parent's Guide to Internet Safety.
Flag Etiquette
What's the correct system for folding the U.S. flag? If the animation at this site doesn't work on your computer, try this illustration for the proper procedure.
Foreign Governments
Look up the official web sites of government offices around the world.Look through some of these sites and find out how many of them have a version that is in English. Is English the international language?
Hammurabi's Code of Laws
Hammurabi developed one of the earliest codes of law. There are 282 of these laws, and they are very specific and often very harsh.
Kids Voting USA
Find out how to become involved in the system that elects government officials. How old do you have to be to vote? In which upcoming presidential election will YOU first be able to vote?
National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center, located on Philadelphia's Independence Mall, is the worlds only museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution and its relevance to Americans' daily lives.
Schoolhouse Rock: "I'm Just a Bill"
Listen to the song that explains how a bill becomes a law in the United States.
The Timetable of World Legal History
Draco was a Greek who was chosen to write a code of law for Athens around 621 BC. His laws were the first written laws of Greece.

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Teacher Resources

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  • Kronenwetter, Michael. The Congress of the United States. Springfield, NJ: Enslow Publishers, c1996.
  • Steins, Richard. Our Elections. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, c1994.
  • Weizmann, Daniel. Take a Stand!: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Government. Los Angeles: Price Stern Sloan, c1996.