Wednesday, October 2, 2013

LOOKING at What the US Government Shutdown Means for us All

I found this wonderful post that helps all of us understand what the US Government Shutdown looks like. It was found yesterday on the ASIDE blog: Innovation Design In Education and is worth a look.  Here is the link:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Visual Resources To Teach About The U.S. Government Shutdown

Source: International Business Times
(click for detail)
The shutdown of the United States government began today. With no plan of action from either political party, there is consequently no easy lesson for teachers to share with their students.

Any discussion of the current Congressional stalemate naturally begins with a civics lesson about political parties and the separation of powers. The questions today from our students, however, quickly centered on issues of blame and health care.

Fortunately, a collection of visual resources from various media outlets do exist to help children learn about the overarching meaning of a shutdown, as well as more granular details about federal budgets and opinion polls.

A good place to start is the short video from the BBC, entitled "US Government Shutdown In 60 Seconds." The clip addresses questions that might be worrying children, such as whether the pandas in the National Zoo will be fed (yes).

Another key interactive tool is the "US Government Shutdown" visualization from Michael Bauer at School Of Data. By rolling over variously sized color bars, the pop-up box provides figures about how each federal agency will be affected.

Source: School Of Data

Bauer's interface is similar to the helpful infographic from The New York Times, entitled "Who Goes To Work? Who Stays Home?"

Source: The New York Times (click for detail)

To explore how individual citizens will be impacted by the shuttering of departments, have the students explore the infographic from the International Business Times, entitled "How Would A Government Shutdown Affect Your Life?" Or take a look at the slide show from USA Today that catalogs the "Government Shutdown By The Numbers."

Source: USA Today

If students ask questions about which party is to blame, or about how the American people will react, take a look at the graph of a Rasmussen poll that asks, "Would A Government Shutdown Be..."


You could also share the results that found a "Majority Want No Shutdown."

Source: National Journal

If you are searching for historical information about past government closures, the bar graph from Seth Kadish at Vizual Statistix documents the anomalous nature of our current predicament.

Source: Vizual Statistix

For a road map to the current termination, the graphic designers at The New York Times have once again put together a clear and illuminating flowchart of Congressional actions.

Source: The New York Times (click for detail)

Finally, if your students are having a hard time understanding the basic nature of the federal budget, try incorporating the interactive chart from the New York Times that details every 2012 proposed expenditure. It is posted on a terrific list of graphs via Poynter, entitled "As Government Shutdown Looms, 5 Interactives Explain The Budget Battle."

Source: The New York Times; Poynter

Thank you as always for your visit.


  1. Most informative and very interesting. Thanks a LOT

    L is for...

  2. a shut down is always frustrating

    PhenoMenon, ABC Wednesday Team

  3. Interesting the politicians continue to get paid yet the people forced to not go to work don't.

  4. These people...

    Anyway, nice collection. Hope it's unnecessary soon.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  5. I sure hope things get sorted out soon! This is not good!

    abcw team

  6. Dear Meryl, thank you for sharing that slamming graphic set! The irony of so many legislators saying they are taking a portion of their salaries and donating it to charity (which equals another tax write-off for these, the very rich who do not want to pay their fare share themselves) makes me ill.

    This is a balanced, clinical look at the mess, and I appreciate it. Amy (from the ABC site)

  7. I just wanted to give you a heads up I will be resetting the Directory Linky on Moms Bookshelf & More on Monday morning. I noticed that many of the links have changed and are outdated and felt it was time to update the list and participants. The new directory will include the following Linky Lists GFC, Linky Followers, Twitter, Facebook, Email/RSS, Pinterest, Instagram, GoodReads, StumbleUpon, Bloglovin' and newly added Sverve.

    If you are interested in joining the new directory linky please drop by Moms Bookshelf & More bright and early Monday morning to add your account links to the lists! The new lists will be live for an entire year and promoted daily for increased participation.

    Thank You so much for your participation in the previous directory hop and I hope to see you starting Monday!