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Social Studies
Grade: 3-5

#822. National government and government leaders

Social Studies, level: 3-5
Posted Sat Dec 5 14:41:11 PST 2009 by Anna Harper (Anna Harper).
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, USA
Materials Required: article (found at end of lesson) and Worksheet (right before article)
Activity Time: 45 minutes
Concepts Taught: Government


Subject(s): Social Studies

Grade/Level: 3

Summary: Students will learn the parts of the local state and national government.

Date: 11/30

Period/Time: 9:45-10:00



Standards and Benchmarks:
CO- Colorado Academic Standards
Subject : Civics

Standard 2

Key Idea 2.1: Students know the organization and functions of local, state, and national governments

Grade/Level : Grades K-4

Performance Indicator : identifying what governments do in their school, community, state, and nation*; what services they provide; and how we pay for them.

Lesson Goal: Students will understand the organizational structure of the US government.

Learning Context: This is the first lesson in a new unit on Government and voting. At the end of the unit, students will take an open note assessment and elect student council representatives for the next semester, thus applying everything they will be learning.

Objective: The student will be able to identify the three branches of the government, identify the people in government, and identify why the nations capital was selected, by completeing a true false worksheet with a minimum of 85% accuracy.

Evaluation and Assessment Plan: Students will complete a true/false worksheet.

Assessment/Rubrics: The student worksheet is attached. 80% accuracy would mean getting 16 out of 20 points. Each question is worth 2 points, one point for getting the correct true or false and 1 point for rewriting the sentence if necessary. Questions that are true and do not need rewritten will automatically receive 2 points.
Answer key

Who are your learners?: There are several children in the class who are much more kinesthetic than the other children, as well as several children with issues staying on task.

Diagnostic Data: There are two children on IEPs, three children on ILPs, two children on 504 plans, one for vision and one for hearing. In addition there are four children currently on ADD medication and two children who have not been diagnosed with ADD but exibit classic ADD symptoms. Also three children are on behavior plans.

Grouping: Whole group for the instruction.

Clinical Coaching:

Instructional Materials and Resources: I will need:

Copies of article for each student
Copies of worksheet for each student
White Board marker
White Board
The Students will need:

Copy of article
Copy of worksheet
Social Studies journal

Lesson one Article.docx

Feedback and Comments:


Focus: First I will tell the students we are starting a new part of Social Studies, Then I will ask the students to please get out their Social Studies journals.

Instructional Strategies: I will write the following vocabulary words on the board:Executive, Judicial, Legislative, Mayor, Governor, President. As we come to the words in the article I will write the definition of the word on the board and ask the students to write the definition down in their Social Studies journal as well.

Then I will start reading the first paragraph of the article to the students. Reading will continue in popcorn fashion until the article is fully read. I will then give the students the worksheet and read the directions to them. We will do the first two together as examples.

I will then tell students how long they have to work on the worksheet (this time will depend on how long the reading takes) before we grade it as a class.

Closure and Summary: We will briefly review the answers to the worksheet

NAME______________KEY_____________________________ Date___________

Our Government
Directions: Read each sentence below. Decide if it is true or false. Write T if it is true. Write F if it is false, then rewrite the sentence so that it will be true.

1. The three parts of our national government are the Executive Branch, the Judicial Branch, and the Supreme Court. F the three parts of our national government are the Executive Branch, the Judicial Branch and the Legislative Branch.
2. Congress is made of two parts: the Senate and the House of Representatives. T______________________________________________________________________
3. The leader of our town is the Mayor.
4. The leader of our country is the Governor.
F The leader of our country is the President.
5. The leader of our state is the President.
F The leader of our state is the Governor.
6. We elect a new president every 6 years.
F We elect a new president every 4 years.
7. The capital of our country is Walla Walla, Washington.
F The capital of our country is Washington, D.C.
8. The capital of our state is Colorado Springs.
F The Capital of our state is Denver.

9. The group of people who make decisions and laws for a city is the City Council.
10. The President serves eight-year terms.
F The President Serves four year terms.

In 1781, a group of men met in Philadelphia to plan a new government. The first time they set up a plan, the government was weak. America discovered many problems with the government. It could make laws, but it could not make the people obey them. Everyone knew that the government had to be changed. The states sent men to another meeting. This time they knew they needed a strong government. But, they also knew the states needed to have rights.
They talked a lot about what to do. Some states were small. They wanted to be sure that they had an equal voice in the new government. The big states wanted to be sure that all of their people would be heard too. The men who were meeting debated and argued. Finally, they decided how to set up the government. The new government would have three sections called branches.
The first branch they planned was the Legislative Branch. They called it the Congress and divided it into two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate made the small states happy. Each state would have two Senators. The House made the larger states happy. Population would decide how many people would serve in the House.
The second branch they planned was the Executive Branch. One person would be the leader of this part of the government. The leader would be called the president. Some people wanted the president to serve for life. Many people didn't like this idea. It was too much like having a king. So, they decided the president would serve four-year terms. They also said that whoever served as president had to be thirty-five years old and a natural born citizen. The leader of our country needed to be experienced and loyal to America.
The third branch of the government was the Judicial Branch. When it was first planned, it was only the Supreme Court. Later, the Congress added U.S. District Courts and U.S. Appeals Courts. The courts have the power to decide if laws are fair. They also hear legal cases where federal laws are broken. The Supreme Court is called the highest court in the land. In most cases, their decision is final.
On July 16, 1790, Congress declared the city of Washington in the District of Columbia (abbreviated D.C.), the permanent capital of the United States.
How does the government work where you live? Do you live in a big city? Or, do you live in a small town? In America, the national government makes laws for the whole country. Each state has a government, too. Local governments work to keep the people who live in a city or town safe.
States have special leaders. States have a Governor and a congress. Cities and towns have special leaders too. Cities have a mayor and a City Council. Towns may have a manager or selectmen. These leaders make laws for their city or town. They decide how to spend taxes. All of these people work together to help protect citizens.