Education Technology

NCSS: The Federal Government Budget

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Divide the class into pairs. In each pair, one student will be responsible for exploring the sources of revenue for the federal government and one student will be responsible for exploring the areas of expenditures.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the CellSheet(tm) App on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

The students should already have some background about the responsibilities of the federal government and how the government raises revenue. It will be helpful to review what items are funded by the federal government; such as social security, defense, Medicare, national parks, and so on. Remind the students that in this activity, they will only be focusing on the federal government's budget.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the CellSheet(tm) file(s) to your class using TI Connect(tm) and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Evaluate choices the government makes in deciding budgetary expenditures.
  • Use data from pie graphs to understand the priorities in government expenditures.
  • Use data from pie graphs to compare the federal government's revenue sources.
  • Examine trends in the national debt and its impact on government finances.
  • After the Activity

    Lead a class discussion using the questions from the worksheets. Summarize with the class the key ideas about where money comes from and where it goes in terms of the federal budget.