Branching out into Politics: the Structure of Federal and State Government

Do your eighth graders know the difference between the Federal and State Governments? Encourage them to learn more about the three branches in each government with a jigsaw activity. Groups work together at six different stations to become the experts of their assigned branches, and then share what they have learned through various discussions and scenarios.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Use during an election year to connect to the current political climate
  • Assign a research project to individuals or pairs in which they learn about a specific career of a politician in either the Federal or State Government
  • Create a cross-curricular unit between language arts and social studies
Classroom Considerations

  • Aligned to North Carolina standards but applicable to any state's social studies standards
Pros

  • Includes attachments for the lesson, as well as answer keys
  • Offers a homework activity and additional extensions
Cons

  • None