Democracy Begins at Home: The Importance of Learning About Our American Government

Politics affect everything we do; the air we breathe, the water we drink, the amount of taxes we pay, the quality of roads upon which we drive, the kind of education your child receives, and more.

Did you know that research shows that American adults have little knowledge of how our government works and only one-quarter are able to name the three branches of federal government? More teens can name the Three Stooges than the three branches of government. They know who founded Microsoft but not who fathered the Constitution. Many teens think Springfield is home to Bart Simpson, not Abraham Lincoln.

This can be a bit troubling since the whole point of democracy is to put ordinary citizens in the driver's seat of governing our nation. If you are like most parents, the question of how to teach young children about this amazing yet complex government might seem overwhelming.

Here are some books which you can read with your child to begin to pass the torch of democracy and liberty to our children. Perhaps we grown-ups will learn a thing or two, as well! Much more than that, children will have an appreciation for how important it is that we all play our part in upholding our democratic system of protections and freedoms.

We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States
by David Catrow JPICTURE
A humorously illustrated and accessible picture book about the Preamble to the Constitution that will teach the youngest readers history and will stimulate family conversations. Award-winning book illustrator and political cartoonist, David Catrow has taken the most important introduction in our country's history and made it easy to understand in a hilarious, inspiring way.

What Are the Three Branches of the Government?: And Other Questions About the U.S. Constitution by Benjamin Richmond 342.7302 R414
Find out the answers to these and other fascinating questions about the U.S. Constitution. This is part of a Good Question! book series (24 in History section) that explore what you really want to know about extraordinary people and events in history.

20 Fun Facts about the US Constitution by Therese Shea 342.7302 Sh31
Many students are taught that Congress accepted the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 but not many know that it was written on animal skin. These are a few of the many fascinating facts about US history that readers will discover within this six book series.


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