“Mom, may I have $40?” is a question that so many students can relate with. Typically, your classroom will be filled with students who always want the next best thing. For instance, this may be a pair of the latest Nike shoes or the coolest Beats headphones. Or, it can be the day-to-day spending, such as grabbing a quick bite to eat with friends. No matter what it is, students love spending money! However, they often do not realize how long it takes to actually earn money. While some parents may be able to afford luxuries, many families live paycheck-to-paycheck. You students will love this bureaucracy project.
Government agencies are limited with their budget and finances. While students may think the government has unlimited money to spend and hand out, this is not the case! In order to help students understand how money works, they will complete a Government Bureaucracy Project. Here, students will take on the role of a government agency fighting to keep every penny of the budget.
This bureaucracy project is thought-provoking, rigorous, and incorporates multiple standards! Even better, it can also be used for a cross-curricular project with the English department. You might also like my government projects blog post.
Step 1 in the Bureacracy Project
To get started, students are appointed head of an independent agency, regulatory commission, or cabinet department within the federal bureaucracy. While teachers can assign students a specific one, they can also pick their own. By doing this, students may be even more passionate about their project. Be sure to inform students the great honor this appointment holds!
After students gain excitement for their agency, it is time for reality to set in. Sadly, inform students that their agency is now in danger of losing funding by 25%. As the president was preparing his annual budget to Congress, the decision was made to cut back on federal spending. During this stage, be sure to remind students how devastating any reduction can be. In other words, remind students how it feels to not have enough money for something they truly want or need.
In order to truly understand this bureaucracy project, students have to spend time exploring their agency. Thus, provide time for students to look into the history of the agency in addition to its purpose. Then, have them explore how it contributes to the function of the government and benefit the citizens of the United States. Specifically, students need to explain different examples of programs or aspects that the agency has focused on. By doing this, students will be able to understand the true role of the agency.
Now, it is time for students to fight for their life! In reality, their life is currently saving the agency while in the classroom. Therefore, students will create an eye-opening speech justifying the agency’s existence and need to keep the budget the same. To do this, students will highlight concrete projects on how the agency contributes to the functions of the government. Furthermore, they must explain how the agency benefits the general welfare of the citizens.
Bureacyracy Project Step 5
After each group delivers their persuasive arguments, the class will vote which agency should have the budget cut! Truly, students will be so invested and eagerly anticipate the outcome. Honestly, this is a wonderful way to teach the federal bureaucracy while keeping all students engaged!
The Government Bureaucracy Project is one each student will connect with while trying to save the funding. After exploring the “ins” and “outs,” students will grow passionate about saving their agency. Thus, students will put their best effort forward in order to persuade the class that their agency must be saved. In doing so, one agency will ultimately have its budget slashed by 25%! Nobody wants this to be this agency, so students will utilize every moment they can on this bureaucracy project!
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