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TEACHER: Terese Flores

Subject: US Government
Lesson Plan Title: Article III
Grade Level: 12
Unit: The Constitution
Aim: Is the check and balance system fair?

Virginia SOLs: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the Constitution of the
United States by
d. illustrating the structure of the national government outlined in Article I, Article II, and
Article III;
Technology Standards:
Technology Communication Tools
C/T 9-12.9 The student will use a variety of media and formats to communicate
information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
-Determine the most effective tool, format, and style to communicate to specific
-Use technology-based options, including distance and distributed education, to
collaborate, research, publish, and communicate.
-Practice self-directed use of advanced technology tools for communicating with
specific audiences.
Creativity and Innovation
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative
products and processes using technology. Students:
a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
c. use models and simulations to explore complex systems and issues.
d. identify trends and forecast possibilities.
Communication and Collaboration
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively,
including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of
others. Students:
a. interact, collaborate, and publish with peers, experts, or others employing a
variety of digital environments and media.
b. communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences using a
variety of media and formats.
c. develop cultural understanding and global awareness by engaging with
learners of other cultures.
d. contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems.

1. Identify which branch is present in Article III.
2. Identify the main job of the judicial branch.
3. Identify the three branches of government that are involved in the checks and
balance system.
4. Explain the checks each branch has power to do and what branch it checks.
5. Construct a diagram that shows the powers of the 3 branches and how and who
they are checked by.
Interpret the political cartoon.
Ask the following questions to lead discussion:
-When was this cartoon drawn?
-What is the picture representing?
-Why is congress asking about the VP?
-What is the significance of the cartoon?

Over the last few days we have discussed the first three articles of the constitution.
Today we will discuss how the constitution also has a way for the three branches to
use their powers and responsibilities to check each other to keep our government

Content - Important Information

Article III- Judicial Branch
Judges are appointed for life.
Judges interpret the Constitution
Checks and Balances
-Congress writes a bill BUT Supreme Court tells them if it’s Constitution AND the
President can VETO it.
-President can veto BUT Congress and overturn it.
-President nominates the Supreme Court Justices BUT Congress votes on the

Practice Activity
1. Students will take a few minutes to read Article III to themselves.
(Handout) As a class we will discuss:
a. What branch is Article III about?---Judicial
b. What is the main job of the judicial branch?---To determine if laws
and people are following the constitution.
2. Each student will receive a blank copy of the checks and balances
diagram. On the diagram they must include:
a. Each of the 3 branches of government
b. The main purpose of each branch
c. One power for each branch
d. One check for each branch
There are no other rules; students can be creative as they want. For
example: they can draw pictures or write complete sentences. The teacher
will provide crayons, color pencils and/or markets.

Each student will receive an index card. On each of the card there is one of
the branches of government, a power of a certain branch of government, or
a power of a branch of government that can check a different branch.
a. The teacher will ask a student with a power card and read what is
on his/her card.
b. The teacher will ask which branch of government has that power,
and the student with that card should raise his hand.
c. The following question will be: which branch will check this power-
and that student will raise his/her hand.
d. And what power does the branch have to check?… That student will
read the power and
e. The next student in the cycle will continue until all of the cards are
read aloud.

If necessary, the teacher will collect and redistribute the cards and play


Political Cartoon: “Checks and Balances”

Handout: Article III
Handout: Comparison Chart (webspirations)
Index Cards
Computer with internet connection