Lesson Plan:

Branching Out About the Government

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November 16, 2015
by Anna Parrish

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to use text to create a picture representing ideas from the text. Students will be able to name and describe the different functions of the three branches of government. Students will be able to write about the three different branches of government.


Introduction (10 minutes)

  • Lead the students in a brainstorm of types of community workers and the various categories of community workers.
  • Create a two column chart of the various community workers and the actions or jobs of these workers.
  • Transition into an explanation of how the students will be learning about the different categories and parts of government jobs, which are sometimes similar to the different categories of community workers.

Explicit Instruction/Teacher Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Display the Three Branches of Government worksheet, and model the process of locating details about the actions of the three branches of government.
  • Underline key words and explain as needed.

Guided Practice/Interactive Modeling (10 minutes)

  • Lead the students in using key ideas from Three Branches of Government to identify the “who” and the “actions” of the individuals involved in each part of the government.
  • Lead the students in a brainstorm of concrete and specific examples of these actions that could be illustrated. Make a list of these ideas on chart paper or on an interactive whiteboard.
  • Invite individual students to come up to the whiteboard and create sample drawings of these actions.

Independent Working Time (15 minutes)

  • Challenge students to create illustrations using the key ideas and actions of individuals involved in the three branches of government.
  • Distribute paper and direct students to work on illustrations that represent the actions shown in the close read. If desired, separate the students into 3 different small groups, and give each group a different branch.
  • Attach each student's picture to a leaf that will be displayed on the Branches of Government tree in the classroom.



  • Enrichment: Ask students to create multiple pictures representing different actions that are under different branches of government. Challenge the students to compare and contrast the differences.
  • Support: Distribute copies of the Three Branches of Government worksheet to students with underlined and highlighted key words as a support for students who have difficulty getting ideas for their illustrations. Assign students a specific action, and support them in verbalizing why those actions would fit under a particular branch of government.

Technology Integration

  • Have students create their own electronic “Branches of Government” tree using a digital art program.
  • Have students use a comic development website to create a sequence of events representing actions shown in a particular branch of government.

Related Books and/or Media


Assessment (10 minutes)

  • Distribute the Branches of the US Government graphic organizer.
  • Direct the students to fill in the graphic organizer and write about the different functions of the government.

Review and Closing (10 minutes)

  • Ask all students to bring the leaf or leaves they created to the whole group near the location where the tree is displayed on the wall.
  • Ask individual students to share where their leaves fit on one of the three “branches” of government.
  • Ask the students to justify why their leaves fit on a particular branch.

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