Seem like an activity that is a little out of reach for your middle or high-school students? The New York Times recently published an interactive that allows you to select and cut spending areas from the budget and eliminate shortfalls. This would be a good experiential activity for students who have current events assignments and need to meet standards of understanding how the government works. Comprehension and vocabulary will be tapped by the accessible explanations of each spending area, and I am sure students will have their own opinions about what should be kept and cut! A helpful visual lets you see how you are progressing in balancing the budget.