Lesson 3: Branches of Government

Young historians climb through the three branches of the US government in the third instructional activity of this five-part series. While reading the first three Articles of the Constitution in small groups, children write facts on paper leaves that are used to create a government tree display. The instructional activity concludes with a short play that highlights how the Constitution creates a system of checks and balances to separate power in the government.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Create the government tree on a bulletin board that can be displayed throughout the unit
  • Use this lesson to teach students how to identify the main idea and supporting details of informational text
  • While reading the Articles of the Constitution encourage children to underline and/or highlight the text as they indentify key facts
Classroom Considerations

  • Teacher is required to create copies of the first three Articles of the Constitution
Pros

  • Offers ideas for adapting and extending the lesson to meet the needs of all learners
  • A series of Brian Break activities are included for maintaining children's engagement throughout the lesson
  • Includes a graphic organizer that outlines the functions of each branch of the government
Cons

  • In the "Simple Branches of Government Chart", the executive and legislative branches are mixed up