Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Branches of Government

This past week in Social Studies, we studied government.  Every day, we discussed the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence or The Three Branches of Government.  The kids enjoyed learning about our system of government, especially when we watched BrainPop clips!  Here is a link to one of the videos we used.  If you don't have a BrainPop account, I highly recommend it!  :)

After we watched this video, we originally were going to just discuss the three branches, and then the kids would do a worksheet.  But, I decided to change it up a little....mid lesson, mind you.....and do a fun activity to help teach the three branches.  :)  The kids really enjoyed it, and they turned out cute, especially since I hadn't originally planned to do this!  (I had done a similar activity before, so it's not like it was completely out of the blue, or like I wasn't prepared.)  Here's a picture of my example of the activity:
So, here's my lesson plan for this activity....feel free to use it!  

First: Introduce the branches of government with the BrainPop video which I linked above.  Go ahead and do the Pop Quiz after the video, if you have time.  The kids always love it.  When they are doing the quiz, I sometimes let them shout out the answer letter, but that can get annoying real quick!  So, a lot of times, I have them show me A, B, C, or D, in sign language by holding up their hand in the air.  Here is the alphabet in sign language, just in case you need a reference.  

Next:  Give students one large piece of manilla or  white construction paper, one large piece of green construction paper, and one regular size piece of brown construction paper and have them draw a tree trunk and three tree branches.  Then have them cut them out, and label them:  Legislative, Executive, and Judicial.  Have them glue it all down to their large piece of manilla or white paper, and write The Branches of Government at the top.

Next:  Have students draw leaves on their large piece of green paper, and cut them out.  I had my kids make 13 leaves, but you might choose to write down other information, so the number of leaves is up to you!  :)  Have students cut out the leaves and then begin writing the information for each branch.  I had them write down information on all of the Legislative branches, and then make a stack for Legislative, then do the same for the other two.  Last, we placed them on the tree where they would fit, and then glued them all down.

The kids enjoyed this activity, and they look super cute hanging in our hallway!  Enjoy!!  :)

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