Travel Time: Three Branches of Government

If you are a teacher today it is likely you are getting a lot of questions regarding the president, how the judiciary works and where Congress fits in. How does a special counsel work? Who can fire him? If a president is in trouble who has authority to impeach. How much power do judges have?

It might be worthwhile to beef up your knowledge of the three branches of government.

Do you know how to explain what the three branches of government do? Are your kids asking why there are three branches of government? You probably know the simple answers, but have you experienced it first-hand?

It might be a time for a field trip.

The three branches of government

Joint session of the United States Congress

D.C. and the three branches of government

It is highly recommended that teachers explore our nation’s capital for themselves. Like all travel, first-hand experience brings knowledge to life and enhances perspective.

The philosophy behind visiting the actual buildings is to go through an exploratory process that present inquisitive participants with many facets of our cultural heritage.

Notes and photos from such a trip will not give an educator a classroom teaching tool, but research will instill in students the idea of being a life-long learner. Your answers will lead to more questions.

The three branches of government visualized

Make sure to take your camera so you can bring back a visual presentation.

Make some phone calls and get a White House tour or a meeting with your local Senator or Congressperson. Takes notes and get quotes from these folks. Your kids might not only think you are cool, they will pay attention and learn.

A class trip to D.C. is ideal if the funds can be raised.

Three branches of government

The White House

Why take a class trip to Washington?

Class discussions are a great way for students to learn about the three branches of government and why the founding fathers created such a system. The students have read pages and pages of assigned reading in their textbooks. But there’s nothing like seeing and touching U.S. history in person to put it all together.

That is why a Washington, D.C. school trip is at the top of many classroom’s annual “must do” lists. There is no better way to learn about the United States government than to see our nation’s capital.

Bringing history, civics and political science to life is and activity that students will never forget. It will enhance their ability to learn while also enjoying themselves on an amazing adventure. And educational tours are available.

Parents often help with the funding and accompany students on such a trip.

Starting with your own trip can provide you a way to rally parents and administrators to get behind such a trip.

Three branches of government

Members of the U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts on left.

Resources for those who teach the three branches of government

If you are a teacher, a bit of self-inspiration never hurts. It is likely why you got into teaching in the first place. Those who love learning generally love teaching.

So good news. You can take a professional development course that will not only inspire you – the teacher – but it will show you how to inspire your kids.

Such a course will set you on your own path to learning and give you the opportunity to tour the buildings that house our three branches of government. You will personally experience the effect of exploring and researching in a way that satisfies your own curiosity and energizes your teaching.

And you can take in museums like the Smithsonian while you are there.