For each mobile, you will need a paper plate, twelve paper clips, three large shapes to display the names of the branches, three medium-sized shapes for the positions, and six small shapes for the duties. You'll also need a paper punch and string. You may use a template (as shown below) and ask students to cut and paste, or simply ask them to write the information on the pieces.
Have students punch three holes along the side of the paper plate. In addition, they should punch one hole at the top and bottom of the large piece, one hole at the top and two holes at the bottom of each middle-sized piece, and one hole at the top of each small piece.
Now they can cut and paste (or write) the names of the branches, positions, and duties on the pieces. (Click here for a template for the United States federal government.)
I've found that using paper clips to attach the pieces is much easier than string. Students tend to make errors connecting the correct branch, positions, and duties. When they use paper clips, the pieces slip off easily to be rearranged.
Finally, they tie string to the holes and tie at the top. And voila! You have a fun and easy branches of government craft.