You are on page 1of 8

Tori Budzinski

November 26, 2014

Unit Plan Part II
Curriculum and Methods
Big Idea: Examining the importance, function, and structure of the federal government
and how it makes our nation strong. What roles do we play as citizen within our

Introduction Lesson
Objective: Students will learn the meaning of democracy and government.
4 C1.0.1 Identify questions political scientists ask in examining the United States (e.g.,
What does government do? What are the basic values and principles of American
democracy? What is the relationship of the United States to other nations? What are the
roles of the citizen in American democracy?).
Task: The way I intend to introduce the lesson is by displaying the driving question for
our unit. The driving question for this unit is: Why is it important to have government?
What are some of the components that help to make our government a successful
democracy? Next, I will make a KWL chart with the students on this topic of
government. After we make the chart, I will define government and democracy. I will
write these on big pieces of paper and post them in the room so the students can see
and look back on these definitions. Next I will read D is for Democracy by Elissa D.
Grodin. This book will be a great introduction into the lingo of the United States
government. I will probably only one part of the book. Reading all the terms at once
might be overwhelming for the students. Lastly, we will start our class made
democratree. As a class, we will be building a tree with three branches which will
represent the three branches of government. As we move through the lesson, students
will add leaves to that tree. Each leaf will be a power of that branch of government. So
they will write the power on premade leaves and then stick them to the designated
branch as we go along in the unit.
Student Thinking:
For this intro lesson, students will be learning new terms from the D is for Democracy
book and will have to remember and understand the meaning of those words. Along
with that, they will need to fully comprehend what democracy and government mean.

Creating the democratree is just a fun activity to help get the students excited about the
unit. They will be able to add more information as we move through the unit.
Teacher Notes:
For this lesson plan, I will need to help define and provide examples for each term so
that each student understands these terms. I will ensure that we write the big definitions
down on chart paper and post them somewhere in the room so they can go back and
look at those definitions.

Lesson Plan: Constitution Day

Objective: The learner will know what the United States Constitution and how it
establishes the powers of our government. They will also learn of the powers the
government does not have
4 C2.0.1 Explain how the principles of popular sovereignty, rule of law, checks and
balances, separation of powers, and individual rights (e.g., freedom of religion, freedom
of expression, freedom of press) serve to limit the powers of the federal government as
reflected in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
4 C2.0.2 Identify situations in which specific rights guaranteed by the Constitution and
Bill of Rights are involved (e.g., freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom of
4 C3.0.1 Give examples of ways the Constitution limits the powers of the federal
(e.g., election of public officers, separation of powers, checks and balances, Bill of
4 C3.0.2 Give examples of powers granted to the federal government (e.g., coining of
money, declaring war) and those reserved for the states (e.g., drivers license, marriage
For this lesson, the students will be looking through the Preamble of the
Constitution and the Constitution itself. I want the students to explore the constitution
itself and develop awareness of how large and important this document is. Students will
be asked to identify how many articles there are and how long each article is. They me
be asked to identify how many sections are in each article and we will identify which
article is the largest. Once we determine the largest article, we are going to explore why
it is the largest. Our goal is to determine why it is the largest and what is written in that
article. As a teacher, I will have short, understandable descriptions of each article to
help explain the different articles of the Constitution. The longest articles of the

Constitution are Articles 1 and 2. I will ask the students to identify how many sections
there are in each. Next, I will break them into groups and each group will be assigned a
section that I will pick for them based on importance. The sections will be typed out on
note cards and will only be highlighted sections that I want the students to full
understand for this unit. Students will attempt to read their sections and try to figure out
the powers each branch has and what each section might be saying. This may be
difficult for them, so they are welcome to research their section. We will discuss every
section and I will ask students what they found. As a teacher, I will elaborate on their
statements and add details they may be missing. We will also have a conversation
about the Constitution being a living document and what that means. The next task is
to write some of these powers on the leaf cut outs to eventually put on our democratree.
Student Thinking:
During this lesson, students will be asked to analyze a document they may not
fully understand. They will work together to try and read the vocabulary of the
constitution and try to determine what powers are given to our Federal government.
Along with that, they will need to apply what they learn and start forming the leaves for
the democratree. Students will try to comprehend and analyze what the Constitution is
truly saying. They will also start thinking about the Constitution being a living document
and comprehending what exactly a living document means.
Teaching Notes:
For this lesson in particular, I will be asking questions that will help them identify
the parts of the constitution such as: How many articles are there? How many sections
are there? Which is the longest? After I assign them important articles and sections, I
will be helping students to identify the important statements of the section that they
need to understand. I will help them with the vocabulary and ask them to take notes on
the important statement. I will then ask the students to partake in a whole class
discussion of what we found. Meanwhile, I will be passing out leaves for our
democratree. I will ask them what they found and if they understand the meaning of the
important statements. If they dont we will look at the language and I may need to help
simplify the statement so that they can understand. If students become stuck, they will
be asked to highlight words they know and make inferences on what the statement
might be saying. Once we have an idea of the important sections, we will write the
powers on spate individual leaves and we will save these leaves for a later date.

Lesson Plan: The Branches

Objective: The learner will understand that our federal government has three branches
and will know the duties of each of those three branches. Along with that, they will
understand the system of checks and balances among the three branches.
4 C3.0.3 Describe the organizational structure of the federal government in the United
States (legislative, executive, and judicial branches).

4 C3.0.4 Describe how the powers of the federal government are separated among
the branches.
4 C3.0.5 Give examples of how the system of checks and balances limits the power of
the federal government (e.g., presidential veto of legislation, courts declaring a law
congressional approval of judicial appointments).
For this lesson plan, I will be teaching students about the 3 branches of government and
the system of checks and balances. I will recall on previous information from the last
lesson about the Constitution. In that lesson, the Constitution states that the
government is divided into 3 branches. I will discuss the concept of separation of
powers with the class and remind them that we read about it in the previous lesson.
Next I am going to have each student individually research each of the 3 branches and
their duties again. After they are done researching, they are to make a 3 tab booklet
explaining the duties of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. I would like
them to contain an intro page introducing what they constitution states and concluding
page explain why the 3 branches exists. For the last 5 min of class, we will take our
leaves we made from the previous day and begin to put them on out democratree. Now,
the students know where each leaf should go.
Student thinking:
For this lesson, students finally understand a concept that was introduced in a previous
lesson. They are applying what they already know to a new topic. Students will be
making connections between the constitution and government. They will be realizing
how the separation of powers is crucial to keeping our government balanced. For the
task, they will be asked to look for more information and to be creative when making
their booklet. Along with the booklet, they will be asked to then organize these powers
into the branches on our democratree.
Teacher notes:
During this lesson, I will be explaining the concept of separation of powers and going
over each of the 3 branches in some detail. I will then encourage the students to
research and provide them with helpful books and websites so they can find helpful
information on the 3 branches. I will also be providing students with supplies and
structure on how to properly assemble their pamphlets. Along with the assignment,
there will be a rubric that will help guide them through their small project.

Lesson Plan: The Bill of Rights

Students will learn what about the rights of citizens and how they are all established in
the Bill of Rights.

4 C2.0.1:

Explain how the principles of popular sovereignty, rule of law, checks and
balances, separation of powers, and individual rights (e.g., freedom of
religion, freedom of expression, freedom of press) serve to limit the
powers of the federal government as reflected in the Constitution and Bill
of Rights.

4 C3.0.1:

Give examples of ways the Constitution limits the powers of the federal
government (e.g., election of public officers, separation of powers, checks
and balances, Bill of Rights).

For this lesson, students will be working with a simplified Bill of Rights and reading
amendments in groups of two. Together, students are to read the amendments and
then are asked to put them in their own words. Once they have written the amendments
in their own words and define what they amendment means, they will pair up with
another group of two and discuss what they have written. All together they will revise
the versions they have into a brand new copy. Together as a class, we will specifically
be talking about amendments 9 and 10 because these amendments tend to be a little
more difficult for students.
Teacher Notes:
For this lesson, I will be introducing the Bill of Rights and teaching the students various
facts about the Bill of Rights. I will tell them when they were written, explain what an
amendment is, and explain why the Bill of Rights were written. Along with that, I will be
pairing them up and helping them explain what the amendments mean in their own
words and provide examples. I will make sure to provide them with examples and help
them make revisions. Then I will help to explain the 9th and 10th amendment so that they
can understand it easier.
Student Thinking:
For this lesson, students will be required to read a statement and then put it into their
own words. This requires many levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Students have to
comprehend, define, analyze and synthesize for this task. They have to create their own
statements using what they learned. They will have to think critically about what each
amendment is saying and how to translate it into their own terms so other students can
understand it as well. I may ask the students that if a 3 rd grader was curious about the
amendment, how they could explain an amendment so that a 3rd grader could
understand. This requires critically thinking, analyzing and processing of what they are
writing and how they are explaining each amendment.

Concluding Lesson: The Role of Citizens

The student will learn the roles of citizens in a democracy and how our country is
centered on the decisions of the people.
4 C5.0.1:

Explain responsibilities of citizenship (e.g., initiating changes in laws or

policy, holding public office, respecting the law, being informed and
attentive to public issues, paying taxes, registering to vote and voting
knowledgeably, serving as a juror).

4 C5.0.4:

Describe ways citizens can work together to promote the values and
principles of American democracy.

For this lesson, I plan to introduce the topic of popular sovereignty and recap on how
the Bill of Rights and Constitution both indicate that as citizens we all have rights. We
will take some time going over what these rights are and what makes a great citizen. I
will create a citizenship web and list the civic responsibilities of citizens. We will talk
about voting, being advocates for an issue for the common good, giving back to a
community, running for office, obeying laws, paying taxes, etc. We will also discuss
justice, the rule of law, and common good and define these terms. Along with that I Will
read the class a story on MLK or Cesar Chavez and how they were leaders and how
they were leaders of change for the common good. We will then discuss how those
leaders worked with others to promote certain values and principles. Then for the
concluding task, students will choose 3 activities from the Think Tac Toe board
choosing activities based citizenship.
Teacher Notes:
Throughout this lesson, I will be helping the kids draw conclusions about being a citizen.
I will be providing the students with examples and elaborating on their questions. I will
then make sure everyone choose 3 activities on the Think Tac Toe board and know
what is expected of them with their assignments.
Student Thinking:
Throughout this lesson, students will be using critical thinking skills when determining
what the roles of citizens are. They will need to apply their previous knowledge and any
examples they have personally. Along with that will need to think critically about the
story and how the leader led others to make changes. Also, the Think Tac Toe activity
directly relates to the levels of Blooms Taxonomy in which students will show
evaluation, comprehension, analysis, and create through their various assignments.

Tiered Lesson: The 3 Branches of Government
Task: Creating a booklet on the 3 branches of government
Novice: Identify the 3 branches of government and list two powers they hold.
Practitioner: In the booklet explain why the 3 branches were created and how this helps
our federal government remain balanced. Then create the 3 tab booklet with the three
branches and their duties.
Think Tac Toe:



Create a childrens book on

what it means to be a
citizen. Include pictures!

Make a citizenship word

map and show at least 6
duties of a good citizen that
we talked about in class.

Compare and contrast the

benefits and downfalls of
citizens paying taxes in
journal entry.




Write a letter to a citizen

who does not believe in
voting. Explain the pros of
voting and how it makes
you a good citizen.

Create a story of a fictional

character that brings about
change in a law or policy for
the common good.
Remember Cesar Chavez
and MLK.



Pretend you are the

President of the United
States. Write a speech
reaching out to your
citizens and reminding
them what their civic
responsibilities are.

Define 7 civic
responsibilities of citizens
within the United States

Choose a leader from a list

I give you and defend why
they fulfilled their civic
duties as a citizen.

Interview 3 adults about

what it means to be a
citizen and then determine,
in class, if they are fulfilling
their civic duties regularly.

Final Assessment
The final assessment for this unit will be a unit test or exam going over everything that
we learned over the course of the unit. Throughout the lesson, I plan to incorporate
smaller projects into the lessons to check student understanding. However, for an
overall unit assessment, I would like the students to take a unit test. There will be larger
questions taken from each days lessons that they students will be asked to reflect on. I
will also make sure this test has a variety of the types of questions asked. The format of
the test will also vary. I will have some multiple choice questions, matching, true false,
short answer and a question that requires drawing.