Thursday, April 30, 2015

Gummy Governments

Want a fun way to teach (or review) the different types of governments with your students?

PS...if you're not using Pinterest yet to search for ideas for your classroom...what are you waiting for?  It's not just a place to get recipe and craft ideas, there are some cool classroom activities, lesson plans, and organization strategies that can easily be modified to fit your needs.

I found this little gem of an idea there earlier this year.

Have your students "illustrate" the different types of government using gummy bears!

We focused on...
  • Monarchy
  • Dictatorship
  • Oligarchy
  • Direct Democracy
  • Representative Democracy
  • Anarchy - not really a "form of government" but fun to act out with gummies!
  • Theocracy 
  • Coup d'etat 
  • Revolution
I had our kids work in partners or groups of 3 depending on the class size.  They were to give the definition of the type of government and then create an example of that using gummy bears.  Red for citizens, yellow for those in power.

We had fun!





Anarchy, Coup d'etat, Revolution:


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  2. Practically, how did you set this up? How did you get only 2 colors of gummy bears? Did kids get to eat them when done? How did you do the prep?

  3. We spent the class period before learning about the different types of governments. I found a lesson on iCivics website that was basic and pretty easy to follow. So the kids had some basis of the different types of government. Then on the gummy day, I put the kiddos in groups of 2 or 3 and gave them a list of the different types of gov. they needed to arrange using the bears. They were required to take a picture of each creation and then email those pictures to me. I then gave them a quiz at the end of the hour over the different types of governments to assess their learning. I think I even let them use the photos they took to help. I found the two separate colors of gummies at a local candy store. I have seen teachers who have done this with random colors and made the kids decide which ones were the "leaders." Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions :)

  4. Hi Jill,

    What grade level did you use this lesson with? I have a mixed class of 9th and 12th grade. We just completed the iCivics lesson and I also had them work with political cartoons.

    I think that the gummy bear lesson would be a great differentiated activity, however, I'm worried that it won't be beneficial to my older students.


    1. Hi Sarah, I used this with 7th graders, however we kept it pretty basic. I think high school students would love this and you could give them more complicated forms of government as well as maybe require more of a detailed explanation of the form of government complete with a country example. Sometimes it can be fun for the older kids to get to "play" :)

      Good Luck!

    2. I teach High School civics. They love it. Including my Seniors!