Project Overview

Project Name

Power of the Federal Branches


Richard Jones

Grade Level and Subject

12th Grade American Government

Project Title

Power of the Federal Branches


5 to 7 Weeks

Project Idea

This project was designed to provide students with an opportunity to examine the structure, roles, and responsibilities of the three branches of our federal government; moreover, students will be given the opportunity to provide voice as they seek to create a plan to improve reshape the federal government to better address the concerns of younger Americans.

Driving Question How could we better shape the federal government to address the concerns of younger Americans?

Sub Questions 1. How is the Legislative Branch structured? 2. What are the qualifications and term limits for members of the Legislative Branch? 3. What are the demographics of the current Congress? 4. What are the enumerated and implied powers of the Legislative Branch? 5. How is the Executive Branch structured? 6. What are the qualifications and term limits for presidents? 7. What are the powers of the president according to the Constitution? 8. What other powers and privileges does the president have? 9. What are the demographics of the POTUS and his cabinet? 10.What is the structure of the Judicial Branch? 11.How are US Supreme Court Justices selected and what is their term length? 12. What are the powers of the Supreme Court? 13. What are the demographics of the current Supreme Court? 14. What powers do the three branches of government have over one another?

Driving Question and Sub Questions

12.4 Students analyze the unique roles and responsibilities of the three branches of government as established by the U.S. Constitution.
1. Discuss Article I of the Constitution as it relates to the legislative branch, including eligibility for office and lengths of terms of representatives and senators; election to office; the roles of the House and Senate in impeachment proceedings; the role of the vice president; the enumerated legislative powers; and the process by which a bill becomes a law. 3. Identify their current representatives in the legislative branch of the national government. 4. Discuss Article II of the Constitution as it relates to the executive branch, including eligibility for office and length of term, election to and removal from office, the oath of office, and the enumerated executive powers. 5. Discuss Article III of the Constitution as it relates to judicial power, including the length of terms of judges and the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. 6. Explain the processes of selection and confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

California Content Standards for History--Social Sciences

(12 Grade Government)

Common Core State Standards

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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, connecting insights gained from specific details to an understanding of the text as a whole. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.6 Evaluate authors’ differing points of view on the same historical event or issue by assessing the authors’ claims, reasoning, and evidence. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.1 Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.

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CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.1a Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that logically sequences the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.1e Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from or supports the argument presented. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.2 Write informative/ explanatory texts, including the narration of historical events, scientific procedures/ experiments, or technical processes. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.2a Introduce a topic and organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.11-12.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

21st Century Skills

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Critical Thinking Decision-Making Creativity Communication Collaboration Technological Literacy Information Literacy Ethics/Civic Responsibility

Introduction For the entry event to this PBL project the teacher will have students participate in a short discussion about government power. The teacher would begin by posting 10 powers around my classroom. These would relate to 10 of the powers of our federal branches. Students would have to move to the selection they believe is the most powerful. Each group would then try to make a list of 3 reasons they feel theirs is the most powerful. The groups would then share out to the rest of the classroom. This activity would get students thinking about the subject, allow them to engage in verbal conversations, and hopefully create the kind of interest that will make them look forward to the upcoming unit. The 10 Powers The following is a list of the 10 powers the teacher would post around the room: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Power to declare war Power to write new laws Power to control federal spending Power to rule any law unconstitutional Power to appoint federal judges

Entry Event

6. Power to grant patents and copyrights 7. Power to free people convicted of crimes 8. Power to control the military 9. Power to lay and collect taxes 10. Power to remove a president

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