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Name: __________________________ Subject: Civics
Teacher Name: ___________________ Date: ___________________


Branches of Government



This lesson will help students understand each branch of government and teach them what each branch does.

Ever wonder how the United States government runs our country? There is a lot more to it than you might think. The government is divided up into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. These three branches of the government work cohesively to run the country and make sure all citizens are following the laws. It's important as US citizens to be aware of how our government works and understand why it is ran the way that it is. Let's take a closer look at these three branches.

Legislative- This branch makes the laws. The people that make up the legislative branch of the government include the House of Representatives and the Senate. They are in charge of deciding what become laws for the United States.

Executive- This branch enforces the laws. The people that make up the executive branch include the president, vice president, members of the president’s cabinet, and military forces. They all make sure that our nation stays safe and that citizens are abiding by the laws set by the legislative branch.

Judicial- This branch interprets the laws. The Supreme Court and federal, state, and local governments make up this branch. If a law is broken or accused of being broken, the judicial branch and the members that compose it review the case and decide whether or not the law was broken. They interpret the actions of those brought before them.


Your goal is to create a poster board about the branch that you are in.
This poster board will contain at least two facts per student, and must include what exactly the branch does in the government.

With your other group members, decide which person represents each branch of the government. I will be giving you descriptions of a duty and you must decide which person this pertains to and why, based on what branch of government it is describing. Then, the legislative, executive, and judicial branches from each group will meet and decide what they would do collectively if an issue was presented before them.


The students will form three groups in the classroom. One group for each the Judicial, Executive and Legislative Branch.
After forming their groups, each student will find out to creative facts about the branch they are in.
Finally, each group will create a poster board, sharing the facts that they discovered. The poster board can be made it any way that they choose.
Then wiill be shared with the rest of the classroom.

Step 1: I will put students into groups of three and from there they must decide which position they would like to assume, compromising may be necessary but that will be up to the students.

Step 2: I will then present an example of a duty of each branch on the interactive whiteboard and each group will be given a few minutes to discuss what branch of government is being represented. The students will demonstrate this by having that member of their group stand up, representing a specific branch of government.

Step 3: After several rounds of doing this, the students should have a better grasp on the responsibilities of each branch of government. If the students do not begin to understand, we will work more as a class to determine which branch of government it is.

Step 4: From here, the students will get together with the other legislative, executive, and judicial branches to represent each one as a whole. I will give each group a sample task that they might face if they had this position and they have to determine what members of their branch would do to handle it.

Step 5: At the end of the activity, students will have to individually write a summary of the responsibilities of each branch of government in order to display their knowledge and understanding of the lesson.

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The presentation portion of this lesson will be how I evaluate what the students have learned and the information that they gather.
At the end of their presentations, we will have a group discussion about what they learned and have students share information they enjoyed, from other groups.

You will be evaluated on participation, how well you work in your groups, your demonstration of knowledge on the topic, and finally your written summary on the three branches of government. Attached is the rubric for grading on this activity.


After all is done, I will collect the poster boards, and have students turn in a scrap paper where they describe what each branch does. This will be for participation points.

You should have a better understanding of how the government runs in its three different branches and the responsibilities of each branch. It’s important for all US citizens to understand how our government is ran in order to be educated and involved members of our society. You have also learned some of the challenges each branch faces and some of the responsibilities they hold. Through this activity, you have expanded your knowledge of the US government and practiced problem solving in a group.

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