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The Lawmakers by Halie Mangiaruga


Lesson Plan overview and description:

a. Expected duration- One class period
b. Social Sciences- Government
c. Concepts- The branch of state government that makes
laws is a lawmaker.
d. Vocabulary1. Capitol the building where leaders of state
government meet to make laws.
2. Appointed- To be selected.
3. Political Parties- Groups of people who share
similar views about government and work to
influence the government in support of those
4. Judges- The branch of state government that make
sure laws follow the state and national
e. Skills- Listening, discussing, reading, writing
f. Broad Goals of Lesson- The focus of this lesson is on the
state government. Specifically, students will focus on the
legislature branch of state government, or the lawmakers.
Students will learn the roles of this branch of government
and create their own laws and class constitution.


Content Outline
a. Core Lesson 2 - State Government:
There are 50 states in the United States and each has
its own government.
What is state government?
Citizens elect people to lead their state government
and work in the capitol.
Capitol is the building where leaders meet to make
the laws.
Every state has its own constitution (the plan for the
states government).
Each state governments have three branches that
each have different responsibilities but work together
to run the state.
Three Branches of State Government
The branch that makes laws is lead by lawmakers.
This is called the legislative branch.
Lawmakers represent people of the community
and write new laws that will improve the state.

When lawmakers vote for a law, it goes to the

They write new laws, rewrite old laws, and vote on
Laws that all people in the U.S. follow.
Created for ALL Americans.
It lists the key rights of Americans.
The Bill Of Rights is part of the constitution. It lists
rights of the people that are given. Bill Of Rights if
the first ten changes to the constitution.
An amendment is a way to make changes to the
Every state has their own set of laws that the three
branches of state government work together on.
Legislature branch that makes laws and is lead by
Amendment a way to make changes to the
Capitol the building where leaders of state
government meet to make laws.
Constitution Laws that people follow in the U.S.
Standards PA Civics, History, Economics, Geography;
NCSS Thematic Strands and Performance Indicators
PDE SAS 5. Civics and Government.
o 5.1.3.A: Explain the purposes of rules, laws, and
o 5.1.3.B: Explain rules and laws for the classroom, school,
and community.
o 5.1.3.D: Identify key ideas about government found in
significant documents:
Declaration of Independence
United States Constitution
Bill of Rights
Pennsylvania Constitution
PDE SAS -5.3. How Government Works.
o 5.3.3.A: Identify the roles of the three branches of
NCSS Thematic Strands:
o 6. Power, Authority, and Governance
The development of civic competence requires an
understanding of the foundations of political thought,


and the historical development of various structures

of power, authority, and governance. It also requires
knowledge of the evolving functions of these
structures in contemporary U.S. society, as well as in
other parts of the world.

a. In small groups, students will create rules they feel are
important to follow in their classroom as part of a class
b. Students will actively participate in creating guidelines for
the classroom to follow.
c. Students will be able to explain how creating a class
constitution allows them to debate, compromise, and ratify
their classroom laws.
d. The student will be able to identify the roles of the
lawmakers branch of state government.


Teaching Procedures:
a. Introduction/Anticipatory Set
1. Before the lesson begins, teacher will pass out an
outline to the students of the content being covered
within the lesson.
2. The teacher will also distribute the constitution
worksheet that students will be asked to complete.
3. Teacher will start by introducing the lesson by
discussing that there are the three levels of state
government. Teacher will explain the first branch,
the lawmakers, and their roles in the creation of
4. Teacher will then lead a class discussion about laws.
Students will be asked to think about laws and rules
that are followed in different aspects of life such as
driving, shopping, and even living in their own
home. Get students discussing these laws by asking
them questions about things they are allowed and
arent allowed to do in these situations. Have
students discuss in their groups. Also, prompt them
to discuss what life would be like without all of
these laws. Discuss with the students that without
laws, the state would be in disorder.
5. Teacher will then show the students a copy of the
constitution and discuss what a constitution is/does
for our state government.
b. Input

1. The main component of the lesson will be partner

work on creating laws for a class constitution and
time set aside for a whole class discussion, debate,
and write-up of the class constitution.
2. With the whole class, go through the constitution
website and discuss what the constitution is, how it
affects our state government, the role of the
lawmakers, and examples of laws within the
constitution. Have students take notes on their
outline handout during the discussion.
3. Give students the Class Constitution handout and
discuss the directions. Tell the class that they will
be making a class constitution with rules they all
must agree on and follow daily.
4. Students will get together in pairs and use the
worksheet given to guide their discussion. The pairs
will write their own idea of what they believe the
preamble should be. They will also develop a list of
three or four rules they believe will keep the
classroom running smoothly. Teacher will guide this
step by asking questions and giving examples of
possible laws.
5. After the pairs have finished the worksheet, the
class will meet as a whole. The teacher will
facilitate a discussion of the students different ideas
for the preamble. Teacher will call on each group to
share their idea and write it on the board for other
students to see. The class will then vote on which
ideas are the best and the teacher will write the
final preamble on a poster board.
6. Teacher will then ask each group to present their
list of rules to the class. Teacher will then lead a
discussion on each rule. They will circle 8 rules that
are important. Then, teacher will have students
close their eyes and vote for four rules that are
important to them. Once the laws have been
chosen, teacher will write the final laws on the
poster board. Students will then come up and sign
their class constitution.
c. Guided Practice
1. The class will discuss as a whole. They will also
work in pairs to create the constitution.
d. Independent Practice
1. None in this lesson.
e. Differentiation


1. I will differentiate the lesson based on the specific

learning needs of my students.
Provide individual assistance.
Student may type up their laws rather than write
Student may draw pictures of laws.
Have audio recording of the website reading for
student to listen to.
f. Closure
1. Student will be provided an index card to answer
two questions: 1) What is the role of the lawmaker
in the state government? And 2) How does the
constitution help our state government?
2. Class will discuss how they were roleplaying as
lawmakers in their own classroom by creating laws,
discussing them, and verifying them.
Teacher and Student Resources and Evaluation of
a. Student Reading Resources:
b. Teacher Resources for Lesson Design:


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Formative/Summative Assessment
a. Each student will participate in the class discussion of the
main points of this lesson (e.g. branches of government,
the roles of the legislature, what the constitution is,
examples of laws).
b. Each pair of students will complete the given handout
about creating a class constitution.
c. Each student will answer the two given questions on the
index card at the end of the lesson and turn it in.
a. Index card to answer the two given questions
b. Class Constitution handout distributed to class
c. Smart Board
d. Copy of the Constitution distributed to class
e. Outline of Content distributed to class
f. Poster board to write the class constitution on
a. This lesson requires a Smart Board in order to project the
content outline for the class to see and to examine the
Constitution. Students may have access to iPad/computer
to research the constitution on a kid-friendly website.
Reflection on Planning
a. Since this lesson takes place towards the beginning of the
unit, the lesson involves a great deal of teacher-directed
lesson and guided practice. The students are still learning
about the different branches of state government
therefore; I am guiding their discussions and pulling at
their background knowledge on the topics. By facilitating
the discussion, I can clarify content for them or give them
new perspectives on the content. This information will
provide them the necessary tools to work in pairs and roleplay as the lawmakers of the classroom by creating their
own constitution. I added information from the content
outline to my lesson about the constitution because the
textbook didnt talk much about it.