Project Overview
Language Arts Unit 1
Language Arts Unit 2
Science Unit
Social Studies Unit 1
Social Studies Unit 2

Studies (1)

Unit Overview

1. Introduction

2. Rights Scorecard

3. Amendment Comics

4. Separation of Powers

5. Vocabulary Assessment

6. Graphic Images

7. Search and Seizure

8. A Debate on Cruel and Unusual Punishment

9. Due Process

10. Project



Lesson 4: Separation of Powers

Class Time Required: 45 minutes

Purpose, Background and Context: Students will take notes on the three branches of government and the checks and balances system. This is the only direct instruction part of the unit, as it is the most important and the hardest to explain.

Objectives for Student Understandings: Students should understand the three branches of government and our system of checks and balances.

Objectives for Student Skill Development: Students should develop an increased vocabulary.

Materials, Resources and Readings: Copies of the Separation of Powers (, overhead transparency of key (see end of lesson for image).

Lesson Questions:           
How is our federal government set up?
Which branch of the most powerful, and why?

Preface (5 Minutes)
Vocabulary words (See vocab list at end of the unit’s overview).

Procedure 1 (45 Minutes)
Pass out the Separation of Powers worksheet, and place a copy of it on the over-head projector. Go over the branches with the students, giving examples for each branch. Be sure to illustrate how the checks and balances system has worked in practice. It is very important that teachers understand the system of checks and balances, as this will serve as the backbone of the unit. The Executive Branch contains the Presidency and has the authority to enforce laws, the Legislative Branch, or Congress, passes laws, and the Judicial Branch can declare entire laws, or parts of them, unconstitutional and void. Conclude this lesson by asking the students which branch is the most powerful. Have them write their answers down, and collect their notebooks for evaluation, 5 points per completed chart.

three powers image


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