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Ben’s Guide – A MARVEL Database

I was checking out the MARVEL! database recently and happened across a new-to-me database.

Ben’s Guide to US Government for Kids

I click on the database and discover a fun picture of Ben Franklin with several links to follow.  Along the very top there are GPO ; ABOUT THIS SITE ; LEGAL ; FEEDBACK ; a Search spot, and two little icons.  These links take me to the US Government Publishing Office ; Information about the site and where it originates ; a reminder that this is a private site that does not collect personal data ; and a form to send feedback about the website.  The person-like icon takes me to Learning Adventures and the United States shaped icon takes me to Citizenship.

The next set of “tabs” – I’ll use that term as that’s what we have become used to on a website – include Home ; About Ben and GPO ; Libraries ; Learning Adventures ; Glossary and Games.  There are three more “clickable” links – Ages 4 – 8 Apprentice ; Ages 9 – 13 Journeyperson and Ages 14+ Master.

Where to begin!?!?!

The About Ben and GPO link gives me several extra links, with quite a bit of information about Benjamin Franklin.  One of the links shows me a timeline of his life, and, I admit it, I LOVE timelines!  This man did many things, and if a bit of this information intrigues me enough, I can and will do more research.

The Glossary link is just exactly that – a glossary of terms in a governmental aspect.  The words may have other meanings, but this glossary is how the terms relate to the U.S. Government.

Learning Adventures and the links in the center of the page for various age level lead to the same place, a varied array of information about our government.  A few of the topics include Branches of Government : Symbols, Songs and Structures ; Historical Documents and  Election Process.  Each of these links are in the box in the center of my screen.  To the right of this box, the icons for each of the learning levels appear.  Clicking on the icon changes the learning level of the information.

Back along the top of the page there is a Games link.  Let’s see where this takes me!

In the center box I scroll, and have three choices – Place the States ; Printable Activities and Branch-O-Mania.

Hmmm . . . .

Place the States is truly what it says.  I’m taken to a blank silhouette of the United States, with a colorful array of the states at the bottom of the page.  A jigsaw puzzle of the states!

Printable Activities takes me to more choices – either Word Search or Crosswords.  Below each of these are levels.  The levels are the same as previously noted – Apprentice, Journeyperson and Master.  Clicking on a choice takes me to a page that can be printed and the puzzle worked on away from the computer.

Branch-O-Mania opens a new page, with more choices.  This time my choices are the branches of government – Legislative ; Executive and Judicial.  This is a “catching” game.  By that I mean, Ben Franklin must catch the icons that drop from the sky.  Each of the branches of government have icons that pertain to them.

All in all, this is an interesting addition to the MARVEL! database of information.  It’s very user friendly, and a great way for me to refresh my knowledge of our government.

Ann Russell, Technology Librarian

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