Why Should You Care About the Federal Government?

Educator Toolkit: Peoples Guide to the Federal Budget

Activity Type: Group
Chapter: All
Objective: Students will be able to analyze the federal budget from multiple perspectives.

  1. On the chalk board/white board write: “Budgets are as much about spending as they are about revenue.”
  2. Depending on the resources available in the classroom, the teacher will need to determine the best way to have the students play NPP’s Build a Better Budget Game http://www.buildabetterbudget.org/?code=NPP
  3. If the students have played Build a Better Budget in groups, then they should remain with their groups to answer the following questions. If the class has played the game as a whole, the teacher should divide the class into groups of three or four to answer the following questions:
    • What are your federal spending and revenue priorities?
    • In Build a Better Budget, where did you cut spending/increase spending and why?
    • In Build a Better Budget, where did you cut revenue/increase revenue and why?
  4. As a full class, discuss the students’ experience in their groups:
    • Where did students have difficulty agreeing?
    • How difficult might it be for Congress to agree? Why?
    • What must members of Congress consider when grappling with the federal budget?

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