ED 155: Education Psychology

Lesson Plan #1


A.    February 2, 2010

B.    Four 45-minute periods

C.   Miss. Brundage

D.   Sixth Grade Social Studies



A.    Students will learn how the executive, legislative, and judicial branches work within the government and understand each positions responsibility.



A.    Given several weeks of the students learning about the branches of the US government, students will break into different branches and write their own laws of the classroom for the other branches to analyze.



A.    Paper

B.    Pencil

C.   Name Tags stating position in the government

D.   Bills made in previous class



A.    Welcome the class to Social Studies and take attendance.

B.    The teacher will read the following to the class:

“ A law begins its life as an idea.  This idea is given to one of our state Representative who introduces it as a bill.  Now it’s the Senates turn.  The Senate will study the bill.  The Senate then sends the bill to the President.  The President can either sign the bill or veto the bill.  Basically, he says YES OR NO.  If he signs the bill it becomes a law.  If he veto’s the bill then Congress can take another look at the bill.  Now it’s Congresses turn again.  Congress can now overturn the President’s veto by a two-thirds majority of the House voting yes and a two-thirds majority of the Senate voting yes as well.” (Three Branches of Government)


VI.            DEVELOPMENT

A.    Divide the students into three groups, approximately 8 students in each group.  One group will be the Executive branch, one the Legislative Branch, and one the Judicial Branch.  After the groups are split evenly, designate one person in the Executive branch to be the President and one to be the Vice President. In the Legislative Branch designate 5 people to be Representatives and 3 people to be Senators.  As the teacher you represent the court system.  Hand out the nametags to the appropriate people in each group.  Also designate one person in the Legislative branch to be the spokes person.


Explain the branches of the court system.  Explain how we are not getting into the court system yet, and right now we are mainly focusing on the three branches of government. 

The teacher will read the following:

“There are three different kinds of courts found in the federal court system.  The lowest level is the district court.  The middle is the court of appeals.  The top level is the Supreme Court.” (Three Branches of Government) Then hand out federal court system handout that is attached.

Now it is time to get started.  Attached are different bills that the class wrote the day before and I have not yet looked at them. As the teacher hand one bill to the Legislative group at a time.  The Legislative group will discuss the law for a minute and then vote.  They will write their opinions on a piece of paper and hand it to the spokes person who will count the votes.  If the votes are two-thirds majority rules yes then they will send it to the Executive branch.  The Executive branch will discuss the bill for a minute and then who ever was elected President will decide whether or not to veto or pass the bill.   If the law is passed it gets sent to the judicial branch that explains and applies the laws.  This branch does this by making decisions on various legal cases.  Have the Judicial branch apply and explain the law to you as the teacher, pretending to make up the entire Federal Court System.  Repeat the process using the other law’s students wrote until the class time is up. 

At the completion of the activity, students will develop a chart explaining what they have learned and what they got out of the discussion between each other and from the in-class activity.


A.    After the completion of this activity, I will ask the students what they thought about the assignment and what they learned from the activity.


A. The chart that was created by the students on what they learned will be evaluated to determine whether they demonstrated an understanding of the lesson, including at least five important facts, their branch of government that they represented, and what they found to be most interesting



Palese Web Team. (7 March 2001). The Three Branches of Government. Oracle

Oracle Think Quest Education Foundation. Retrieved from <http://library.thinkquest.org/J0110221/


The objective of this lesson is to have students understand the three branches of the government and familiarize themselves with our government and the way it works.  Since analyzing, questioning, and examining are concepts that are used within this activity, this objective falls within the Analyze/Procedural Knowledge cells of the Anderson/Krathwohl taxonomy. Since students need to understand the concepts before they can apply them, there is alignment between the objective and this activity.  I will assess students’ understanding of the concepts by examining they way they interact in their groups and in their position in the branch of government and evaluating their mini presentations in front of the class the following day. Since the activity focuses on students’ understanding of and ability to apply the concept, it is in alignment with the activity and the objective.

Sample Lesson Plans