U.S. Government Online

Barbara J. Feldman

The three branches are of the federal government are executive (the President and the White House), legislative (the House of Representatives and the Senate) and judicial (the Supreme Court.) Today we visit all of them, but our first stop is a part of the government that wasn’t created by our founding fathers and only exists online.

  • First Gov5 stars

    In the words of President Bush "FirstGov is the front door to my administration's e-government initiative." Whether you need a form or an answer, First Gov is an A to Z umbrella portal for the federal government. Of particular interest is First Gov for Kids, which you will find listed under "Especially for." Best click for classroom activities is the Web Treasure Hunt available as a web page or a printable download.

  • Supreme Court5 stars

    The official U.S. Supreme Court site has oodles of educational material (downloadable in Adobe Acrobat PDF) in the About the Supreme Court section. Skip the Brief Overview (which only lists hours and other administrative details) and jump into The Court as an Institution, The Court and Its Traditions, The Court and Its Procedures and The Court Building. Biographies of the current justices, and a listing of all past justices, are also found here. A fabulous photo gallery and info for D.C. visitors wanting to hear oral arguments await you in Visiting the Court.

  • United States House of Representatives4 stars

    There are many reasons to stop by the virtual House of Representatives. You can look up your congressman by zip code. Visit your congressmen's website. Or learn about the legislative process by clicking on Educational Links (in the left-hand blue menu) and look for Tying It All Together. This single-page summary of the legislative process describes the four ways a proposal can be introduced to Congress: a bill, a joint resolution, a concurrent resolution, or a simple resolution.

  • United States Senate5 stars

    The best educational material is found in Reference and the most unexpected in Art & History, where you can "explore institutional history, biographies, art exhibits, and historical statistics." Highlights from both sections include a glossary of congressional vocabulary, colorful senatorial stories (not all true), an annotated time line of pivotal moments in the history of the Senate, an exploration of art in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol, and a Senate quiz. "Who was the only Senator to serve from three states?" Click on Learn More on the Art & History page for a link to the answer.

  • White House5 stars

    Serving as the home page for the United States president, the White House Web site is a mix of politics and history. Politics is covered with presidential photo montages, an archive of speeches and press briefings, and presidential policy statements. History is found in the Blue Room (look for History & Tours.) Here you can join an online tour of the White House; learn about its past residents; and view a small portion of the White House's art collection. An excellent kids section, with games and coloring pages, is found by visiting the "KIDS" link near the top of the front page.

  • Honorable Mentions

    The following links are either new discoveries or sites that didn't make it into my newspaper column because of space constraints. Enjoy!


    Cite This Page

  • Feldman, Barbara. "U.S. Government Online." Surfnetkids. Feldman Publishing. 8 Oct. 2003. Web. 23 Aug. 2014. <http://www.surfnetkids.com/resources/usgovernment/ >.


  • About This Page

  • By . Originally published October 8, 2003. Last modified July 10, 2014.

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