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Three Branches of Government

Subjects

  • Social Studies
    --Civics
    --Government

Grade

  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
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Brief Description

Stephanie Goodrich, social studies teacher at Alexandria (Louisiana) Middle Magnet School for Math and Science, submitted this lesson, which offers a fun way to review the responsibilities of the three branches of government.

Objectives

Students will

  • reinforce their knowledge of the responsibilities of the three branches of government.

Keywords

government, branches, executive, judicial, legislative, legislature, civics

Materials Needed

  • colored paper - one sheet of red, white, and blue paper for each student
  • prepared questions relating to the responsibilities of the three branches of government

Lesson Plan

After teaching students about the three branches of government, hand out three sheets of colored paper -- one sheet each of red, white, and blue paper. Students write Legislative branch on the red sheet, Executive branch on the white sheet, and Judicial branch on the blue sheet. Then ask a series of questions; the answer to each question is one of the three branches of government. Ask the question, give students a moment to think, and then ask them to respond by holding up the card that applies to the question.

Sample Questions:
  • Which branch of government makes laws? (Legislative)
  • Which branch of government has members who serve for life? (Judicial)
  • Which branch of government can delare war? (Legislative)
  • Which branch of government directs foreign policy? (Executive)
  • Which branch of government houses the president of the senate? (Executive/vice president)
  • This branch of government can declare a law unconstitutionaol? (Judicial)

The first time or two you do this activity, students might need their notes; but, before long, their responses become automatic. You might even give students the assignment to write their own questions to pose to the class.

Adapting the Activity
This activity can be adapted for many purposes throughout the year; for example, it might also be used when reviewing differences between the Union and Confederacy. Students are always actively involved in the lesson, and they often do better on tests given after such reviews.

Assessment

On a final test of the responsibilities of the three branches of government, students will correctly answer 80 percent of the questions.

Lesson Plan Source

A+ Lessons from Alexandria Middle Magnet School

Submitted By

Stephanie Goodrich, social studies teacher at Alexandria (Louisiana) Middle Magnet School for Math and Science

National Standards

SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics
GRADES 5 - 8
NSS-C.5-8.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
NSS-C.5-8.3 Principles of Democracy
GRADES 9 - 12
NSS-C.9-12.1 Civic Life, Politics, and Government
NSS-C.9-12.3 Principles of Democracy

Find more great actvitiies from the teachers of Alexandria Middle Magnet School for Math and Science at A+ Lesson from Alexandria Middle Magnet School.