In addition to being a HUGE educational technology nerd, I am also quite a government geek…which works out well for me, since I teach American Government classes – ha! I typically struggle, however, to make learning about the President’s Cabinet engaging, exciting, or at least not dull.
Let’s face it. Learning about what each part of the Executive Branch is most likely not of utmost interest to our students.
I’ve toyed with this idea for the past few years, but never really “had time” to devote to the activity…the past few years we’ve had anywhere from 5 to 20 snow days, which are awesome, but at the same time put some restrictions on activities we can complete 🙂
Here are the basics of my “Create Your Own Cabinet” activity:
- Students appoint a famous individual, alive or deceased, to fill the various Cabinet level positions.
- Students MUST support their nomination with facts based upon the individual they’ve appointed.
In addition to being a fun, creative activity, Create Your Own Cabinet requires students to apply what they’ve learned about the Cabinet level positions. For example, in order to support Taylor Swift’s appointment as Secretary of State, they need to know that the Secretary of State is responsible for maintaining diplomatic relationships with other countries, and since Taylor Swift travels the world promoting her label, she may also be a good representative of our country abroad. Yes, this is an actual example from my classroom 🙂
I offered this activity to my students as part of a Bonus XP opportunity which, as many of them noticed, will definitely help them “level up” in our yearlong Government “game.” However, Create Your Own Cabinet would be a great activity for most Social Studies classes, and could be modified for grades 6-12.
I may also create an activity that requires students to fill Cabinet positions with former presidents, based on their experiences in office…that could be fun!
If you’re interested in this activity, click here to download the document. If you’d like to use it in your classroom, please follow the instructions for making your own copy, and remember not to sell this product!