‘What Is Government?’: 4th Grade Students Taught It’s Your ‘Family’

87582757Pat Dollard

Excerpted from THE BLAZE: Fourth-grade students in Illinois are learning that “government is like a nation’s family” because it sets rules and takes care of needs such as health care and education.

So says a worksheet for social studies homework that was distributed to students at East Prairie School in Skokie, Ill, complete with a drawing of Uncle Same cradling a baby that represents the citizens.  


Students are then prompted to answer 10 questions comparing government and families, including how their family provides for their health care needs and how the government does the same, and what rules families set and what rules government sets.

The worksheet it titled, “What is Government?” and then goes on to answer that question.

“Government is all of the agencies, departments, organizations, groups, individuals in a nation who make, carry out, enforce, and manage conflicts about rules and laws,” the worksheet says.

“Government is like a nation’s family. Families take care of children and make sure they are safe, healthy and educated, and free to enjoy life. Families encourage children to be independent hardworking and responsible,” it continues. “Families make and enforce rules and give appropriate punishments when rules are broken. Government does these things for its citizens, too.”

A concerned parent forwarded the homework assignment to TheBlaze. The worksheet asks the following questions:

1. How does your family keep you safe?

2. How does the government keep its citizens safe?

3. How does your family keep you healthy?

4. How does the government keep its citizens healthy?

5. How does your family help you learn and become educated?

6. How does the government help its citizens learn and become educated?

7. What kind of rules does your family have for you?

8. What kind of rules does government have for its citizens?

9. How does your family punish you when you break the rules?

10. How does government punish citizens who break the law?

Teri Madl, the superintendent for East Prairie School District 73 in Illinois, told TheBlaze the assignment was not pushing a political message.

“In response to your questions and said worksheet, it is meant to offer a simple analogy that helps children understand that part of a government’s role is to set rules, enforce those rules, and provide safety, security and freedom for its citizens,” Madl said in a statement. “It is not an attempt to include and/or promote a political message. If a parent does have a concern I would encourage him or her to contact the child’s teacher.”


11 thoughts on “‘What Is Government?’: 4th Grade Students Taught It’s Your ‘Family’

  1. So wrong on so many levels, where do I start?
    Okay, just filling out the thing will get most famlies a visit from dhs.
    If I would have to had to answer this in “4th grade”, this is how I would have answered.
    1. We have lot’s of guns in our house, so do my Grandparents. My Dad is a sharpshooter and I know how to shoot well too.
    2. Police
    3. We have a garden, we go berrying, and shrooming. We eat venison, fish, rabbit, turtle all good things. I love to fish and have fried fish eggs!
    4. I don’t know.
    5. My family is so smart! They know about the weather, how to tell time and direction by the sun, what how much bear fat means, being safe in the woods, they are so smart!
    6. We have to go to school. I don’t learn too much there, but my penmanship and cursive is the best in the class, what my teacher tells me, oh and draw, draw draw, keep drawing, basically that was all I had to do in 4th grade. My teacher thought I should be an artist 🙂
    7. Tell the truth, be home by dark, family is most important, and left me to my own spiritual beliefs and understand.
    8. Sick
    9. I have learned to wash my own mouth out with soap. Sometimes I have to sit in a chair, but would rather have a spanking so I can get back outside to play.
    10. They are not nice. I don’t trust them. They are not my Mom and Dad. They are not my Creator. They are not love.

    1. “basically that was all I had to do in 4th grade. My teacher thought I should be an artist ” should have been in () that was what Mrs. Roosevelt wanted me to turn in, drawings, I got A+’s on everything as long as I did drawings? 🙂

  2. Ok, here we go folks …
    In light of the fact that I’m 63, and can’t believe government is even subjecting our children to this propaganda, I’m looking at this for what it really is, conditioning of children to be separated from their biological parents. I’ll then answer the questions as if I was asked these questions when I was nine years old.

    1. My father will kill you if you lay on hand me.
    2. I don’t know … my dad and mom protect me.
    3. We eat fresh chicken, duck, eggs, fish, and fruits and vegetables mom grows in the back yard.
    4. I have no idea what a government is.
    5. Mom teaches me to respect other people, dad teaches me the difference between right and wrong and my brothers defend each other when people don’t understand.
    6. I go to private school and nuns teach me reading, writing, music, math, art and God, I don’t know what a government is.
    7. Love
    8. I don’t know the government has rules but my father screamed at walls when he had to pull my brothers and me out of private school because he had to pay more taxes.
    9. I get my butt spanked with a belt and I’m sent to bed to think about it.
    10. I don’t know.

    1. Ha! Fun remembering back in the day 🙂
      Wish more people would answer the questions from that time in their life. Interesting to share and compare to now.

      1. Hey guys let me know how you would answer in 4th grade.
        I remember those days! I’d like to see the then and now versions 🙂
        F our now gov, some of us haven’t been flouridated enough, gmo’d enough, rx’d enough, some not and we still know 🙂

  3. And Obummer is GOD. That’s right, Kids. Bow down and obey. Pledge allegiance to the Dictator Obama/Hitler, or…………………………………….

  4. They should be teaching the kids the truth, that government
    is a necessary EVIL.
    Also that all through human history, governments have had the
    tendency to become tyrannical, like our present federal government.

    America’s founders fought just such a tyrannical government to give
    us the freedoms that our present government is quickly taking away.

    Teach them that. Teach them the truth.

  5. The roots of the word Govern-ment are;

    Govern(er) ~ To regulate, direct or constrain. eg; a governer is a physical device that regulates rotational speed through centrifugal motion.

    Ment ~ mentation or thought.

    So the meaning of the word government is “thought control”.

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