Constitution Day is September 17, the day in 1787 when our U.S. government was born. Meet your Constitution Day education requirement with this free and engaging lesson plan. This lesson plan shows how the U.S. Constitution sets up our government. Students will learn how Articles I-III describe the structure, function and powers of the three branches of government. Readings and activities will guide students through the articles, as well as the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances.
Students will be able to:
DISTRIBUTE reading pages and read through page one as a class. The basic questions in the table can be addressed to the class and be used as a preview of the lesson.
READ page two as a class, pausing to compare and contrast the House of Representatives and the Senate. Continue with the remainder of the page.
READ the first part of page three, focusing on Article II. Have the students identify the powers of the executive that surprised them, or that they do not understand. Explain as needed. Have students review the qualifications to be the president.
CONTINUE with the reading on Article III. Review with the class how many branches of government exist under the Constitution and what their basic jobs are. (Make laws, execute laws or interpret laws)
READ and discuss the concepts of the separation of powers and checks and balances with the students.
DISPLAY the transparency showing all the checks and balances between the three branches and discuss with the class.
ASSIGN the labeling activity ‘A Bill Becomes a Law’ and check for correct answers.
DISTRIBUTE activity page 2 and the half sheet with cut outs. Students should cut out the six checks and balances and past them to the correct area of the activity. Use the transparency again to check for correct placement.
DISPLAY the Active Review transparency and distribute the active review manipulative. Make sure students fold their tents correctly. As you uncover each power on the overhead, the class should show you the side of their tents that displays the correct branch of government.
DISTRIBUTE the lesson review and assign for completion.