The Executive Branch

Students will learn about the executive branch, including the unique role and powers of the president and the function of executive departments and agencies. They will explore key facets of foreign policy and the president’s role in it.

View our Constitution Explained video series for short-form videos to share with students about the executive and other branches of government.

Choose Grade Level:

  • Game

    Branches of Power

    Learn to control all three branches of the U.S. government!
  • Lesson Plan

    Order Up! Executive Orders (Infographic)

    Order up! What the president says goes... or does it? This printable infographic explains what executive orders are, how they work, and what they can be used for, and how they are limited. iCivics en español! A version of this infographic is available in Spanish along with a Spanish Teacher’s Guide.
  • WebQuest

    What Can a First Spouse Do?

    The president’s job is clearly defined, but what is the role of the First Lady and how has it evolved over time? In this WebQuest, students learn how first spouses have contributed to the leadership of the country.
  • Game

    Convene the Council

    Step inside the Situation Room and take on the role of president responding to international events.
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-Lesson: Vice President

    Find out about the importance of the vice presidential candidate in a presidential election, and how this person is much more than a running mate.
  • DBQuest

    Little Rock: Executive Order 10730

    When President Eisenhower authorized troops under federal authority to desegregate Little Rock Central High School in 1957, he became the first president since Reconstruction to use federal forces to help enforce equal rights for African Americans. Using the example of Executive Order 10730, students will explore how executive orders can be used to enforce the law and examine how Eisenhower justified his actions. 
  • Lesson Plan

    Shedding Light on a State of Emergency (Infographic)

    In case of emergency, declare it! Help your students understand what it means when a state of emergency is declared with this printable infographic.
  • Lesson Plan

    Impeachment and Conviction (Infographic)

    Impeachment really is only half the story! Follow the processes and powers of impeachment in this easy to follow printable infographic. 
  • Lesson Plan

    Supreme Court Nominations

    This lesson plan teaches the fundamentals of Supreme Court Justice nominations and helps students understand the politics behind the nominations. It challenges students to cut through the politics and compare nominees’ judicial philosophies and includes an optional extension for students to research and analyze the controversial nominations and confirmation processes of Robert Bork, Harriet Miers, and Merrick Garland.iCivics en español! Student and class materials for this lesson are available in Spanish.
  • Lesson Plan

    Six Roles of the President (Infographic)

    From Commander-in-Chief to Chief Executive—keep track of the many roles of the president with this printable infographic for your classroom!Love this infographic? Explore all of our free election curriculum and teaching resources at our Election Headquarters. iCivics en español! A version of this infographic is available in Spanish along with a Spanish Teacher’s Guide.