Teacher Review For Ben's Guide to U.S. Government for Kids

Ben's Guide could offer much more

Megan S.
Classroom teacher
Neil Armstrong 5-6 Middle School
Bethel Park, PA
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My Grades 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
My Rating 3
Learning Scores
Engagement 4
Pedagogy 4
Support 3
My Students Liked It Yes
My Students Learned Yes
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Individual
Knowledge gain
Small group
Great with General
How I Use It
After finishing several lessons and project on the branches of government, Ben's Guide was a way for the students to put their knowledge to practice while other students were finishing up. I grouped students into pairs as they finished the project. Students logged on to the website and went to the Apprentice section (grades 4 -8) and focused on the branches of government. There is a large amount of reading so the promise of playing a game at the end helped as well as one group being crowned the Branch King/Queen was appealing. What worked is that I put no time frame on it. What didn't work was the amount of reading and the game required the students to make SUPER fast decisions that some students had difficulty with.
My Take
If you use the site for what I used it for then it will work. I used the site as a "We're finished early. Now what do we do?" There is a ton of information is what I liked and didn't like. The information was useful but was a bit overwhelming for many of the lower literacy students. The advanced learners buzzed through it and went right to the game. Since they didn't spend a ton of time reading they were able to play the game several times and therefore ended up with the best scores. I would change that for next time.