Students learn the role of the executive branch in creating and carrying out laws. Through role-play, the class models the legislative and execution processes as they create a new coin in order to learn how the executive and legislative branches work together. They follow the new coin from its inception as an idea in the executive branch to its creation at the U.S. Mint.
The student will . . .
ANTICIPATE by showing the class the coins you have brought for demonstration. Ask whether money really grows on trees, and if not, where do they think money comes from?
CALL on students for some answers, and then explain that today they will be creating a new coin as a way of learning how the executive and legislative branches work together.
DISTRIBUTE coins of whatever denominations you feel comfortable letting students borrow. Ask students to study the coins to see what is on them.
SHOW the "Look at Your Money" transparency and use it to compile a list of what the class finds on the coins. (You can use the master either to create an overhead transparency or on your Smart Board.)
CHOOSE one student to act as the President.
SHOW transparency master #2, "Step One: The President Gets an Idea." Have the "President" you selected read the presidential announcement to the class. Ask the class to help you fill in the blanks in the "President’s Requirements" section.
SHOW the first half of transparency master #3, "Step Two: Congress Makes a Bill."
LEAD the class through a vote to decide on which coin should be updated. Write the name of the coin in the blank space in the bill.
READ the bill with the class.
SHOW the second half of transparency master #3, "Step Three: Presidential Approval." With the class, walk through the President's requirements for the bill to see whether they are met. (They are.) Then have the "President" you selected approve the bill. Explain that if the requirements had not been met, the President would veto the bill. In that case, Congress could override the veto with a 2/3 vote.
ASK students who they think will actually choose a design and make the coins now that the law is passed. Will the President do it?
SHOW the first half of transparency master #4, "Step Four: Execution at the U.S. Mint! Gathering Kids' Ideas." Read through the contest rules and explain that the students will be making designs for a new coin.
DISTRIBUTE one "The Kids’ Coin" handout to each student. (The "Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees?" worksheet should be on the back side of the handout.)
ASK students to draw their ideas for the Kids' Coin. Give a limited amount of time for students to finish, according to how much time you have.
SHOW the second half of transparency #4, "Step Five: Execution at the U.S. Mint! Making the Money." Direct students' attention to the transparency, and use it to explain how the ideas would get transformed into actual coins that people could use.
WRAP UP by having students complete the "Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees?" worksheet. They should be able to put the correct words in the blanks without referencing the transparencies.