Departments of the Government


IMG_2376This month many of our classes are learning about government through their Unique Curriculum unit. We decided to compliment this with a theme on different departments of our government. Each of the sensory group boxes represented one of the departments. Our fine motor groups’ art activities discussed shapes while making their projects and our language group made an “all american” dessert.

Who knew that learning about the government could be so much fun 🙂





IMG_2355IMG_1968The base of our Department of the Treasury box was GREEN paper shred. We put in a variety of play money—–both coins and bills—— a money clip and some dollar sign necklaces picked up at the dollar store. We also included a discovery bottle filled with rice and plastic coins that was fun to shake as well as look at!

IMG_1909The social studies access point recognize differences in the appearance of coins can be addressed in this activity.



IMG_2419IMG_2179Our students enjoyed sifting through the coffee ground dirt to find seeds and play food in the Department of Agriculture box. There was also a picture to find at the bottom of the box—–this time a life size picture of a head of lettuce.

IMG_1963            Recognize that plants grow is a science access point that can be discussed here.




IMG_2422IMG_2202The Department of Energy box was all about wind! There were 2 fans to play with, one of which was super cool—–it had no blades! The students really enjoyed pushing the buttons to make the fans turn on and off and ALL of us were fascinated by the bladeless fan 🙂

IMG_2170Indicate awareness of air moving and recognize that air can move objects are science access points.



IMG_2349With our Department of Education box, the students had fun stamping alphabet letters into moonsand. Its bright red color is very enticing and it has such a wonderful tactile feel—-always a popular item!

Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.









IMG_1922Using Floam, the students made replicas of our White House where people from the Department of State might greet leaders of other countries.  Floam’s slightly sticky squishy texture is very intriguing to most of our students—-a great substance to explore!

The science access point recognize a change in an object is addressed here.






IMG_2218IMG_2244A cute little plane flying around fluffy shaving cream clouds represented the Department of Transportation. We really love our messy play around here!





IMG_1948IMG_2251The science access points track the movement of objects pushed or pulled and recognize a model of a real object can be addressed with this activity.

Just pure FUN 🙂





IMG_2231IMG_2360The Department of Interior was represented by our water play activity since water is one of the important natural resources that they oversee. The concept of capacity was explored with two different measuring cups—–addressing the math access point recognize differences in sizes of containers that hold liquids.

Of course while rinsing off all the shaving cream, the science access point observe and recognize that people need water is certainly addressed 🙂




IMG_1995IMG_2446Bath and Bodyworks mahogany woods seemed like a perfect scent and again represented the Department of Interior in both our water play and lotion. The scent itself was pretty light and our students all seemed to like it.

Recognize and respond to one type of sensory stimuli is a science access point.










The Tuesday fine motor group made a house out of shapes to represent the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

IMG_2023We started by discussing the shape of the base paper and then glued down the first shape—–a big square!

Recognize a common object with a 2 dimensional shape is a math access point.






IMG_2004IMG_2088Then the students cut out triangle roofs using either a paper cutter or head switch operated scissors.

Recognize a change in an object is a science access point.





IMG_2049IMG_2068Since the students had to cut all 3 sides of the triangle, we asked them to identify the number 3 using communication symbols.

What a great job they did!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.




IMG_2037The roof and rectangle door were glued down and the houses were starting to take shape, so to speak 🙂

Discussing the shape again addresses the math access point recognize a common object with a 2 dimensional shape.







IMG_2105IMG_2110Then the students used a circle cutter to cut out the windows which were then glued onto their houses.

IMG_2064Apply a push to move an object is a science access point.



IMG_2080IMG_2028TA DA………

IMG_2039                                                                      ……..move in ready!




The Wednesday fine motor group looked to the Department of Transportation and made some cool cars!

IMG_2262IMG_2283We started by asking the students to choose a paint color and begin painting their cars. The class was pretty divided between blue and red—–sadly, no one chose yellow 😦  The car bases were made from toilet paper rolls that the adults precut.

Identify objects by one observable property, such as color, is a science access point that can be addressed here.



IMG_2269IMG_2331The students were asked to find the number 4 using communication symbols and then they used a circle punch to cut 4 wheels for their cars. Pincer grasp skills were practiced as the students attached their wheels——— we found that glue wasn’t necessary, the paper wheels stuck to paint perfectly!

Associate quantities with number names is a math access point.



IMG_2291IMG_2334Ta DA! Our cars are ready for racing down the highway——at

IMG_2566— the posted speed limit of course 🙂








Because we were talking about American government this week, we decided to make a modified version of an all-American dessert, so we made apple cheesecake!  Here is the link to the recipe book: Let’s Make Apple Cheesecake

IMG_2471IMG_2482We started by melting the butter.  First, we all looked at the butter and discussed that it was a solid.  Once it was melted, we talked about how it turned into a liquid.

Then, we counted out 12 graham cracker squares and put them in a bag.  Time to get out hammers and crush those crackers!  Always such fun 🙂

Both of these steps address the science access point recognize that the appearance of an object or material has changed.


IMG_2488After the crackers were crushed, we mixed them in with the butter and layered the mix on the bottom of our pan.

Of course we discussed the fact that the pan was SQUARE, addressing the math access point recognize an object with a 2 dimensional shape.






IMG_2492Next, we opened the apple pie filling and took turns smelling the apples—–yummy!

Once everyone had a turn to smell them, we spread the apples over the graham cracker mix.







IMG_2508After that, we put the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla into a bowl.  We talked about how the shape of the cream cheese was rectangular.  Then came the fun part: mixing the ingredients in the bowl.  Our students got to use a wireless switch to activate the mixer——-always such fun!

Activate a device that uses electricity is a science access point.




IMG_2531After we put the cream cheese mix on top of the apples, we shook some cinnamon on top.  The final step, and our personal FAVORITE step, was to eat our dessert.








IMG_2427Hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about our government this week. Join us next time for more fun and learning——-Group by Group!

3 responses »

  1. Looking at the cute pictures and all the hard work I know everyone is doing makes me really miss the students and staff. Great Job. Keep up the great work. Jeannie Barrett

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s