Lesson Plan: US Government


Objectives: The students will

I. review their knowledge of the Legislative Branch of the federal and state governments.

II. examine in detail the leadership of the US Congress and Maryland General Assembly.

III. develop a computer-based diagram that illustrates one aspect of American government and democracy.
Curricular Connections: From the Washington County, MD Essential Curriculum

4.01 Analyze the reasons for establishing a bicameral Congress. (Goal I PS I A 2b)

4.02 Differentiate between the House and the Senate by referring to length of term, total membership, qualifications, leadership, election process, and committee organization. (Goal I PS I A 2c; I A 2d)

4.07 Explain the special powers of the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. (Goal I PS I A 2c)

Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): Reviewing The Legislative Branches

A) Students were assigned a crossword that uses terms from both federal and state legislative branches.

B) Review the worksheet orally. Have students check each other's papers. Have them add the correct answer if needed.

Main Activity (Instructional Input): The Interactive Worksheet on the Legislative Branch

 A) Have students work on partner-pairs. Students should go to the computers and start Netscape Communicator.

B) Have students enter the address for the Interactive Worksheet on the Legislative Branch.

C) Distribute a hard-copy of the worksheet to the students. The printed copy of the worksheet must be handed in for the grade.

D) Allow students to complete the worksheet in writing. 

E) If time remains, review the answers to the worksheet orally. 

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): A Diagram on US Government

A) Assign students a concept on which they will develop a diagram. Students may work in groups.

B) The diagram should be a combination of text and graphics. Graphics can be hand-drawn and scanned, or drawn on the computer. Or graphics can be clip-art images that have been changed using computer software.

C) Assign students any one of the following topics:

D) Demonstrate Paint Shop Pro for students to use in  developing their diagrams.

E) Students should create a rough draft of their diagram on paper.

F) Have students use Paint Shop Pro to create diagrams. Students should save their images to the hard drive.

G) Students can use Netscape Composer to mount their images on web pages. Have students write a one-to-two paragraph description or explanation of their diagrams.

H) Place student images on the school web site.

Evaluation: The lesson will be evaluated by:

I. the accuracy of student's written responses;

II. student's scores on future tests and quizzes.

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