Time needed: 30–45 minutes
You probably already know that there is a president of the United States. But did you know that the president is only one part of the government? In this country, lots of people work together to decide what rules are made and how they are followed. All of those people make up our government. When you turn 18, you can help choose them by voting in elections!
In this activity, you will start to learn about the legislative branch of the United States government.
The United States government—and the government of every state—is broken into three parts, or branches. The government is divided in this way to make sure that power is shared, so no part has too much.
The legislative branch of government is called Congress. Congress is made up of two parts: the House of Representatives and the Senate. This is the part of our government that makes laws.
Congress meets in Washington, D.C., in a place called the United States Capitol. The Senate meets on one side of the building and the House of Representatives meets on the other.
Next, have an adult help you find pictures of the Capitol. Make your own Capitol building with pencils, paint, or modeling clay.
When you’re done, show your Capitol building to an adult and ask any questions you can think of. For example: Who are your state’s two United States senators? How many representatives does your state have? What kinds of issues are important to some of them?
Think about what you just did:
Troop Leaders: The instructions for all badge steps are available free of charge in the Girl Scout Volunteer Toolkit.
Girl Scout Activity Zone activities have been adapted from existing Girl Scout programming.