Lesson Plan: US Government: The Constitution

Date: Monday, September 29, 1997 - Friday, October 3, 1997

Objectives: The students will

I. Identify the three branches of government along with their functions.

II. outline how the system of checks and balances works.

III. evaluate the Constitution's flexibility and demonstrate how the amendments keep the document up to date.

Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): The Constitution's Structure

A) Have students locate the Constitution in their textbooks.

B) Display the following set of directions on the board or overhead:

Using the headings for articles (1-7), Sections, and Amendments, create an outline of the Constitution.

C) Discuss the main idea for each article and amendment when students have completed the outline.

D) Collect student outlines for a grade.

E) Students can use the Interactive Constitution at The Constitution Center to conduct research on these and other topics.

Main Activity (Instructional Input): Vocabulary relating To The Constitution

A) Display the Vocabulary list #3

B) Have students take down terms on their own paper and have them use their texts to define the terms.

C) Terms should include the following ideas:
From Government In America, Chapter 3

1) Bill of Rights
2) Cabinet
3) Executive Agreement
4) Executive Privilege
5) Fundamental law
6) Judicial Review
7) Marbury vs. Madison
8) Parliamentary Government
9) Preamble
10) Presidential Government
11) Prime Minister
12) Popular Sovereignty
13) Supremacy Clause
14) Statutory Law
15) Veto
16) Override

From American Civics, Chapter 3

1) Constitutional
2) Popular Sovereignty
3) Majority Rule
4) Federalism
5) Federal Government
6) Delegated Powers
7) Reserved powers
8) Concurrent Powers
9) Limited Government
10) Veto
11) Override
12) Amendment
13) Repealed
14) Cabinet
15) Unwritten Constitution

Examples (Modeling): The Checks and Balances System

A) Display or copy/distribute the flow chart on Checks and Balances.

B) Have students use the chart in their textbook (pg. 44 American Civics and pg. 65 in Government In America) to fill in the flow chart.

C) Have students develop their own diagram of the checks and balances system. Students must include the elements found in the charts listed on the pages above.

Check For Understanding: Checks and Balances Chart

A) Display the chart that contains 10 powers of the 3 branches.

B) have students complete the chart on their own papers.

C) If possible review answers orally.

D) Have students correct their own papers and keep their work for later tests and quizzes.

Guided Practice: Textbook Assignments

A) For periods 2, 5, and 6: Have students complete the following on their own papers:

Page 82: Practicing Skills: Study Skills: Reading A Diagram
Page 82. Participatory Citizenship: Writing An Essay

B) For Periods 3 and 7: Page 54: Reviewing Terms. Inform students that they earn extra credit by writing out the paragraph with the questions.
Page 54: Practicing Civics Skills: Interpreting A Flow Chart: Answer questions A-D in full sentences.

Homework (Independent Practice) To be completed in class if time allows: Chapter 3 Worksheet

A) Distribute worksheet for Chapter 3

B) When students have completed their work, allow them to check each other's work using the "quick-switch" method:

1) They must use another color pen than the one used on the paper they are checking.
2) They must sign the bottom of the paper they are checking.
3) Be attentive to students filling in answers before switching papers or students who don't switch and add answers during the review process.

4) Have students count the number of responses correct and place over the number 20 for periods 2, 5, and 6, and over 30 for periods 3 and 7.

C) Collect papers with final score posted on top.

Wrap-Up Activity (Closure):

 Review the textbook activities above orally, allowing students to check and improve their own answers.

Citizenship Manual Assignment: Have students complete Questions 1-20 and have them write out their answers.
Correct and collect when complete.

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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