I don’t know about you but teaching history has always been incredibly hard in the testing grades. Specifically in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. It was never a tested subject so unfortunately, it always fell to the side. However, it doesn’t have to fall to the side anymore. I developed a brand new program that will help you keep your history lessons to 15 minutes a day with an implementation process that will help you have success within your classroom. Let’s do a lesson just for the 3 Branches of Government.

The 15 minutes of history for the 3 branches of government lessons in 15 minutes over 5 days!

Day 1 – Introduction

In order for us to not waste any time, our students need to understand the actual concept behind the 3 Branches of Government. It’s not a topic we can just toss them into and expect that they would understand. Heck, even some adults don’t understand this.

On your first lesson, we need to explain the concept of 3 Branches of Government. I start by explaining the why we have these branches. (Helpful hint: when you hit revolutionary war or the Constitution, come back to this because students can connect our reason why.) I will also explain some key words or vocabulary words that students may see.

Inside the PowerPoint, I include important information that the students will need. These important facts will be who the primary people are in the government. It will also include a super simple overview of each branch.

Day 2 – Legislative Branch

You can really choose whatever branch you want to focus on next. I chose legislative because it’s kinda meaty and needs more explanation. I figured if it was the second day of the unit, they may be more intrigued.

During this day, we review the important parts of the lesson. We talk about the Senate being part of the legislative branch and the House of Representatives are part of this branch. We will search our representatives so they know who are some of our House members and we will look up the two Senates for our state.

The students will then learn the process of a bill. How does it begin, how it is approved and then when it goes to the President to be approved of vetoed. I love acting this out and pretending I am the president. I have them create a bill and draw the entire steps on the board as we move through the motions. Some ideas can be ice cream served with every single lunch, why we should be able to wear capes, all schools should or should be uniformed.

Day 3 – Executive Branch

On day 3, we focus strictly on the Executive Branch. I will warn you, this day has some crazy emotions. A lot of times the students will start discussing who they want for President or their opinions. I always start the lesson and say ‘this is is not that conversation.’ We are strictly learning about the jobs of the Executive Branch.

I explain how the leaders are not just the President of the United States. We also have the Vice President and the Cabinet. A lot of times the students think the President makes choices but really he has a collection of people that support his decisions about the country.

Day 4 – Judicial Branch

This day is a unique day. I will spend time teaching them about the Judicial Branch and show them pictures of the Supreme Court and our Justices. Our 5th graders go on a field trip to DC every year so this is a fun thing to show them before they leave. During the 3 Branches of Government lessons, I explain that all of these are needed in order for our systems to balance.

Day 5 – assessment

If you are like me, you have to give everything and assessment. Our district has this as a rule so we have to constantly assess whatever is taught. I don’t go crazy with the amount of questions. I will assess them based off of what they learned from the week.

If you need other ideas when teaching about the 3 Branches of Government, check out the cube project based only around the branches!

You are probably thinking that all of this looks amazing. The big question is, how can you get it?! You can download this entire unit for free. Download below!

Unlock the Secrets of the U.S. Government with your 3rd-5th Graders!
Download a Free Week of Interactive Lessons using the Three Branches
Discover how laws are made, who enforces them, and how justice is served with our fun and educational resource!
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