Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Presidential Line of Succession

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

presidential-line-of-succession

How many of you watch the TV show “Designated Survivor” with Keifer Sutherland? Even though he was the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he became the next President because of a bombing of the White House. How did a seemingly random person in the cabinet get to be next in line for President? Today we will find out!

We are studying Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass, and this is the fourth post in our high school government series. There is a chart on page 167 that has the “Order of Presidential Succession.” My kids assumed that there were no more after that list, so they wrote a joke at the end of the video that the Secretary of Homeland Security had better not die because there is no one left to run the government! (In reality, there are probably more people in line.)

The Presidential Line of Succession

Vice President
Speaker of the House
President Pro Tempore of the Senate
Secretary of State
Secretary of the Treasury
Secretary of Defense
Attorney General
Secretary of the Interior
Secretary of Agriculture
Secretary of Commerce
Secretary of Labor
Secretary of Health and Human Services
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
Secretary of Transportation
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Secretary of Homeland Security

Presidential Line of Succession (Dramatization)

Watch this fun video to find out who is next in line for President!

I hope you enjoyed watching my children keel over, and the purple hat (representing the President) grabbed and placed on the next President’s head. Did you notice the goggles and light bulb in the hand of the Secretary of Energy? Hopefully this goofy dramatization has answered your question as to which person comes next in the line of presidential succession!

Join us next week for the next episode: “Executive Departments of Government”

The links in this series of blog posts are not affiliate links. Please buy the book from their website to bless their family the most!

Preamble to the Constitution

Monday, April 10th, 2017

preamble-to-the-constitution

The Preamble to the Constitution is iconic in the establishment of the United States of America because it is the first paragraph of our founding document. Why are the people of the United States establishing this Constitution? For five reasons that are enumerated: for justice, tranquility, defense, the general good, and liberty.

These phrases are described in greater detail in Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass. We find out how the general good was taken out of context in later years to fund programs that the founding fathers would have never agreed to. The whole purpose of the government was to preserve basic rights and freedoms, not to tax the people into oblivion by supporting an enormous bureaucracy.

The Preamble to the Constitution (Dramatized!)

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

How we dramatized the Preamble to the Constitution:

“We the people of the United States, –Everyone stands around wearing sunglasses and pointing at themselves.

in order to form a more perfect union, –Everyone holds a paper that says “Union,” and they begin scrubbing it to make it better.

establish justice, –A person holds a gavel.

insure domestic tranquility, –Everyone sleeps peacefully.

provide for the common defense, –People hold swords and shields.

promote the general welfare, –Someone holds up a sign with “Safety” on it, with people holding toy cars (representing national freeways and safety of vehicles) and pills (regulating the safety of pharmaceutical drugs).

and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, –A parent passes a paper with “Liberty” on it to her daughter.

do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” –Everyone scribbles on a huge scroll with “Constitution” written on it.

preamble-of-the-constitution

And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen: the Preamble to the Constitution, dramatized to enable you to remember this first paragraph of the founding document of our great nation.

Next up in the high school government series: Presidential Line of Succession!

The links in this series of blog posts are not affiliate links. Please buy the book from their website to bless their family the most!

How a Bill Becomes a Law

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

how-a-bill-becomes-a-law

Today we will dramatize how a bill becomes a law. We are studying Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass, and this is the second post in our high school government series. We are having so much fun as we re-enact many essential concepts about government. This book has helped me (as a parent) understand government better than I’ve ever understood it before.

So without further ado, here is our second government video…

How a Bill Becomes a Law (Video Demonstration)

Costumes and Props in the Skit

My daughter dressed up as a bill. We used poster board and wrote the word “bill” on it. We also gave her a three-cornered hat just for character. We had a congress and a president. The congress sat on chairs and held up Facebook likes (or un-likes) to represent their votes for or against the bill. The president was dressed as the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland (no insult intended to our current president…)

voting-in-congress

This is How a Bill Becomes a Law:

  1. A bill originates in the House of Representatives or the Senate. One of the members takes his proposed bill and gives it to the clerk. The clerk assigns it a number and sends it to the proper committee.
  2. The committee deliberates on the bill and proposes amendments to it, and if the committee approves, it is sent back to the House of Representatives.
  3. If the bill passes the House, it goes to the Senate. If it passes the Senate, it is sent to the President.
  4. The President can then either veto or sign it. If he vetoes it, the bill goes back to the House and the Senate. Only if the bill gets a two-thirds majority in both houses will the veto be overridden. Then it becomes a law anyways.
  5. Or if the President signs a bill, then it becomes a law.

president-vetoes-bill

I hope you enjoyed our demonstration of how a bill becomes a law. Stay tuned for next week’s post: Preamble to the Constitution!

The links in this series of blog posts are not affiliate links. Please buy the book from their website to bless their family the most!

Types of Government

Monday, March 27th, 2017

types-of-government

Today we are going to learn about the types of government. We are starting a new video series on high school government, using Exploring Government by Ray Notgrass. I was looking for a government program to teach my homeschooled high school kids, since it’s a mandatory class for graduation. I saw this Christian government textbook when I was at a conference in Ohio last year. It had colorful pictures and understandable text, similar to Apologia high school textbooks that are written in a more conversational style than the usual boring, hard-to-read, and impossible to understand textbooks on these subjects.

After watching the fun videos my kids perform for this course, you will laugh when you find out I was dreading to teach government. That’s why I was thrilled when I saw this book, held it in my hands, and read some of it. I also got to meet the author of the book and his wife. While we were in a keynote session, he reached over and held his wife’s hand during the prayer, which I thought was sweet. When he won a door prize, he danced a jig, which I found entertaining. You can see the love of Christ shining out of their faces.

The links in this series of blog posts are not affiliate links. Please buy the book from their website to bless their family the most!

Now onto the first video of the series…

Types of Government Video Demonstration

The first form of government is a dictatorship, where one person rules and has absolute authority. The North Korean government is an example of a dictatorship. In the video, you will see someone dressed as a dictator, forcing people to labor because they have no choice about it.

Next we have an oligarchy, where a small group of people hold sovereignty. The former Soviet Union had an oligarchy. Here we had several people in gray wigs, governing over the people by sitting in a meeting, conversing together.

Next is a monarchy, where a king or queen, who holds the throne by hereditary rights, rules. There are two kinds of monarchies: absolute and constitutional. Absolute monarchies are similar to dictatorships, but the leader is royalty. Constitutional monarchies have monarchs, but they are under the law. There are very few absolute monarchies now, but throughout history, this has been the most prevalent government type.

For the absolute monarchy, we had the queen of hearts give a signal, “Off with his head!” For the constitutional monarchy, we had the “law” appear above the queen’s head. We thought it was appropriate to dress up as the Alice in Wonderland deck of cards, to add whimsy to the video. (The cards were left over from a year where our whole family dressed up as a deck of cards for Harvest Festival.)

monarchy-type-of-government

The next and most common form of government is a republic. This also has two kinds, presidential and parliamentary. Presidential republics have the people vote directly or indirectly for a president who is not part of the elected national assembly. Parliamentary republics, on the other hand, have the chief executive be part of the national assembly. When one party wins a majority of seats, their leader becomes prime minister, or chief executive.

When we acted this out, we had a mob of people crowding around Abraham Lincoln to make him president by direct vote by giving him the sunglasses. Oh, yes, in case you didn’t notice in this entire video, the people in power are wearing the sunglasses.

For the parliamentary government, you have a vote in parliament, and the group with the most votes chooses a person to be prime minister, and that person (of course) gets the sunglasses.

Lastly, we have a true democracy, where all the people gather together to make, remove, and amend laws. No modern country is truly democratic, mostly just republic. All the people put on sunglasses.

We also added anarchy, which is no government at all. You will have to watch the video to find out what happens when you have anarchy.

types-of-governance

I hope you liked our first video in the Exploring Government series. Stay tuned for next week’s post, where we dramatize how a bill becomes a law!

Related Posts with Thumbnails