United states government three branches of government
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United States Government: Three Branches of Government. Tiffany Ayres, Liz Schindler, Mary Walker, & Pete Yaksick. Standards. Social Studies VSC – Fifth Grade Standard 1.0 Political Science

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United States Government: Three Branches of Government

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United states government three branches of government

United States Government:Three Branches of Government

Tiffany Ayres, Liz Schindler, Mary Walker, & Pete Yaksick


Standards

Standards

Social Studies VSC – Fifth Grade

Standard 1.0 Political Science

5.1.A.2.c. Explain the significance of principles in the development of the Declaration of Independence, Articles of Confederation, Preamble, U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights

5.1.A.2.d. Describe the three branches of government and their individual powers and responsibilities, such as separation of powers and checks and balances

5.1.A.3.a. Identify the effect that regional interests and perspectives had on shaping government policy, and compare such as middling class v. gentry, plantation owners v. proprietors

5.1.B.2.b. Compare ways people can participate in the political process including voting, petitioning elected officials, and volunteering

5.1.C.1.a. Describe responsibilities associated with certain basic rights of citizens, such as freedom of speech, religion, and press, and explain why these responsibilities are important

5.1.C.1.b. Describe the power and responsibility of the Supreme Court including the power of judicial review

Standard 6.0 Social Studies Skills and Processes

5.6.B.1.b. Connect key ideas to prior knowledge (personal experience, text, and world)

5.6.G.3.c. Identify and formulate a position on a course of action or an issue


Brain target 1 emotional climate

Brain Target 1 – Emotional Climate

  • Establish classroom routines and practices.

    • One routine specific to this unit: “Morning reporter” starts the day off with a current events article. Then, students are given a few minutes to reflect on the article in their journal.

  • Create a connection to the work – with opening activity on BT-3 slide.

  • Give choice in some classroom activities – promotes ownership.

  • Create an open environment where children feel like their ideas are respected. Address cultural differences and model tolerance and acceptance of others.

  • Present information in a variety of modalities to appeal to different learning styles.

  • Convey concepts for "Civics" (Responsibility to be informed and get involved) – Provides student with feeling of commitment and community service.

  • Provide healthy sense of Nationalism/Patriotism. Students get an appreciation of the strengths of our Democratic form of government. Freedom and Self-Determination (Responsibility for our own successes and failures). Gives students a sense of "American Pride".


Brain target 2 physical environment

Brain Target 2 – Physical Environment

Room arrangement: Dependent on topic we are teaching.  

  • Judicial days -desks in line, facing forward to model the Supreme Court Justices.  

  • Legislative days - groups of varying size to simulate small vs. large state debate. Another day of seating in semi circle divided in the middle (D's on left - R's on right) to simulate what is it like to be in Congress.

  • The rest of the time, in groups of four to promote discussion and group activity.

  • Changing desk arrangement addresses novelty in the classroom.

    Visual Stimulation: Several government icons around the room (http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/symbols/ for inspiration). Posters/ paintings of U.S. Capitol, Annapolis Capitol, Baltimore City Hall, courthouses, monuments. Students art from class assignments is displayed inside and outside of the classroom.Background sound: Traditional American songs can play softly as students enter and begin work.  (Would not include Star-Spangled Banner since that requires standing up – Would include that in a lesson or two.)


Brain target 3 learning design

Brain Target 3 – Learning Design

Big ideas mapped out by teacher before teaching. Could be used for wall display where each element is added as it is taught/discussed.


Brain target 3 learning design1

No Monarch

Declaration of Independence

Brain Target 3 – Learning Design

  • Introductory “Big Picture” Activity:

    • Students will be asked: “What do you care about?” Discussion will follow to elicit more information about what and why they care about their topics. What would you do to protect/take care/keep the topic?

    • Relate this to the founding fathers (following a Revolutionary War unit)

      • Create a concept map with the class to determine what the founding fathers cared about.

        • A good model of a concept map and a good review of the prior unit.

    • Have students make their own concept map about what they care about in their journal.

  • Pose the question: “How do we effect or create change in this country?”

  • Build entire unit off of these concepts.

    • Students may add info, take away info, or create whole new maps if desired. Teacher makes it clear that the initial concept map is a working document.

Protested unfair taxes

Boston Tea Party


Brain target 3 learning design2

Brain Target 3 – Learning Design

  • Unit Learning Goal: Students will demonstrate the important role that government plays in each of their lives and how they can interact with the system to make change.

  • Unit Learning Goal: Students will understand how and why the US Government is broken into three separate branches.


Brain target 4 teaching for mastery

Brain Target 4 – Teaching for Mastery

Learning Activity Ideas:

Learning Objective: Students will use currents events to identify and formulate a position on a course of action or an issue. (5.6.B.1.b & 5.6.G.3.c)

When: Throughout the whole unit

Who: Individuals and Whole-Class

What: Assign students a day to report on a current event. After each report, students will journal their feelings about the report. This activity will build awareness of issues in students’ community, state, and nation. It will help them when they get to the final application project. Use the current events articles to create a class scrapbook organized by government/not government. Break government articles into three branches. Extend by bringing in a whole lot of articles to sort.

Learning Objective: Students will explain the significance of principles in the development and relate it to American symbols. (5.1.A.2.c)

When: Towards the end of the unit

Who: Individuals

What: Design an American symbol and explain how it relates to what we learned. -or- Choose a symbol of America.  Explain why it symbolizes America to you based on what we learned. -or- Choose a symbol of America. Write an American poem or song to go with it. (Real life model – Star-Spangled Banner)


Brain target 4 teaching for mastery1

Brain Target 4 – Teaching for Mastery

Learning Objective: Students will describe the three branches of government and their individual powers and responsibilities. They will use this knowledge to help inform them in civic duties such as voting. (5.1.A.2.c & 5.1.B.2.b)

When: While teaching executive branch

Who: Table groups of 4.

What: Students will discuss the powers of the executive branch. Then, students will draw a caricature of an ideal leader they might vote for the executive branch.  Try to pull in idioms for language practice. Goal is to be creative, but to include important traits students feel a good leader needs to accomplish his/her job. EX: thinks fast on his/her feet so draw a person with "Speedy Gonzales" fumes sparking from feet

Learning Objective: Students will describe the power and responsibility of the Supreme Court including the power of judicial review. (5.1.C.1.b & 5.1.C.1.a)

When: While teaching judicial branch

Who: Whole class takes a role.

What: Discuss the role courts play in honoring the Constitution. Role-play an important case.  Assign lawyers, clients, judges, etc.  Have judges decide what they think is right. Then, discuss how the case really turned out. (Choose a case that is culturally sensitive.)


Brain target 4 teaching for mastery2

Brain Target 4 – Teaching for Mastery

Learning Objective: Students will identify the effect that regional interests and perspectives had on shaping government policy and structure. (5.1.A.3.a)

When: While teaching legislative branch

Who: Whole class.

What: Mock debate over who gets more say in the classroom -- student groups of 2 or student groups of 6 or 7.  Elect one speaker to represent each table group in the debate.  Students may only talk through their representative.  See if students can figure out what to do. Then, discuss how Americans figured it out hundreds of years ago.

Learning Objective: : Students will describe the three branches of government and their individual powers and responsibilities, such as separation of powers and checks and balances. (5.1.A.2.d)

When: During legislative branch

Who: Individuals

What: Discuss how a law is made. Show School House Rocksvideo. Create a visual flow chart from a community member citing a problem to a law being made (include vetoing and overturning a veto).


Brain target 4 teaching for mastery3

Brain Target 4 – Teaching for Mastery

Learning Objective: Students will describe the three branches of government and their individual powers and responsibilities. (5.1.A.2.d)

When: While teaching the legislative branch

Who: Whole Class

What: Break class into two parties based on these two statements: The more we help ourselves, the more we help the group . -and- The more we help the group, the more we help ourselves. Pose questions to the group to vote on to simulate Congressional conversations. Ex: Would you prefer 4 days of school for 8.5 hours or 5 days for 7 hours.

Learning Objective: Students will describe the three branches of government and their individual powers and responsibilities. (5.1.A.2.d)

When: Throughout lessons – once students have basic idea of the three branches

Who: Whole class

What: Use a reinforcement game.  Hand out slips of red, white, and blue paper.  Assign a branch to each color.  Ask trivia questions.  Ex: Which branch interprets the law?  Have students raise the color for the branch they think is correct.  Keep a class tally on a classroom attendance sheet.  Students enjoy the bragging rights.


Brain target 4 teaching for mastery4

Brain Target 4 – Teaching for Mastery

Learning Objective: Students will understand the major concepts that formed and make up United States government.

When: Throughout the entire unit

Who: Whole Class.

What: Create a "Liberty Tree" with the class. The Liberty Tree in Boston was a symbol of American colonists' desire for independence before the American Revolutionary War.  As a class, design a "Liberty Tree“ as a visual representation of the unit.  

  • What issues caused the tree to "grow" at first? On the roots and trunk, creatively display the reasons for creating a new government.  

  • How does our government “branch out”?  Create three main branches on the tree.  

  • How does it all work together?  Represent the checks and balances with interlocking branches.  Show American symbols on the leaves.  

  • How do we effect change?  Draw each person looking towards the tree.


Brain target 5 teaching for application

Brain Target 5 – Teaching for Application

  • Write a persuasive letter to a representative attempting to effect change in your community, state, or country.

    -OR-

  • Draw a persuasive political cartoon about a topic important to you to send to a representative attempting to effect change in your community, state, or country.

  • Create a student government. Let students decide structure and powers based on what they have learned in the unit.


Brain target 6 evaluating learning

Brain Target 6 – Evaluating Learning

  • Timely feedback on activities and projects.

  • Evaluate student understanding from discussions and student government formation.

  • Evaluate accuracy of flowcharts.

  • All student responses from reinforcement game from BT-4.

  • Rubric for essay and cartoon evaluating three of the six traits of writing (ideas, voice, and organization).


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