The Branches of Government
- Students will be able to identify the three branches of government.
- Students will be able to identify the people that are involved in each branch.
- Students will be able to describe the functions of each branch.
- Tell your students that they will be learning about the three branches of government in the United States.
- Put up a poster board, and divide it into two columns. Label the first column know and the second column learned.
- Ask your students to tell you what they know about the three branches of government.
- Write down the information that your students tell you on the poster.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(20 minutes)
- Pass out The Three Branches of Government worksheet to your students.
- Go over the worksheet with your students and explain the three branches in detail.
- For example, tell your students that vetoing a law means that when Congress sends a bill to the Executive Branch, the President can reject it. After that, the bill goes back to Congress. If two-thirds of the members of Congress want it to become a law, it becomes a law even though the President has rejected it. This is a form of checks and balances between the branches of government.
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Ask your students to complete the Branches of the U.S. Government worksheet using the Three Branches of Government worksheet and ideas they heard during your instruction.
- Go over the worksheet with your students as a class.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Give your students three index cards each.
- Ask your students to write the name of the branch on the front of the card. Have them also include the people who make up that branch underneath the name of the branch.
- Direct your students to write two jobs of that branch on the back of the card.
- Ask your students to think about current laws.
- Have them pick a law that they don't like.
- Instruct them to research the law and to write the ideas about the law and the consequences for breaking the law in the first paragraph.
- Have them write how they would modify the law to make it more suitable to them in the second paragraph.
- Play the video Three Branches of Government House School Rock by ABC.
- Ask your students to describe the three branches of the government to you using examples from the video. Clarify concepts that are still unclear to your students.
- Ask your students to complete the Branches of Government Match-Up worksheet.
Review and closing(15 minutes)
- Review the poster with the two columns that you used during the introduction.
- Ask your students what they learned from the unit and write the things that they learned in the second column.
- Ask them if they were surprised about any of the information they learned today, and which branch of government they believe is the most influential.