Topic U.S. Government–Balance of Power
Subject Social Studies
Grades 7th
Overview/Summary: Students work in groups of 8-10 to complete the “Avalanche” activity from The Systems Thinking Playbook (Booth Sweeney and Meadows).  An analysis of the components of the activity as well as the resulting dynamics allows students to consider the similarities between the activity and the structure and function of the United States federal government.
ST Concepts & Habits Concepts:

  • Interdependencies
  • Structure generates behavior

Habits of a systems thinker:

  • Understands and considers how mental models affect current reality and the future
ST Tools Kinesthetic systems activity
Standards Students understand the ideals, rights, and responsibilities of citizenship and know how governments are formed and function.

  • Understand the functions and responsibilities of the three branches of the United States federal government.
  • Understand ways in which people claim and exercise their civil rights to achieve equality.

Implemented by: Debbi Kapp, Anne LaVigne, and Jeff Wadman

Submitted by: Anne LaVigne

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