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Time to Vote

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Keywords: Flip Video, Microsoft Power Point, U.S. Government
Subject(s): Video, Technology, Podcasting, Photography, Social Studies, Journalism, Civics, History
Grades 6 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Lewisburg Middle School, Olive Branch, MS
Planned By: Amanda Anderson
Original Author: Amanda Anderson, Olive Branch

The three branches of U.S. government, “Time to Vote”

Primary Subject Area
The understanding and exploration of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of U.S. government.
Grade Level
6th grade Social Studies

Students will spend three classes learning the structure of each of the three branches of government. They will then expand the lesson with a project that will show them exactly how the election process takes place and then what each branch does once they are elected.

Approximate Duration
General overview of the three branches will be broken up into 3-50 minute class periods.
Expansion of knowledge project will span 3 weeks

GLEs and/or Benchmarks Achievements

1. Understand the responsibilities, duties, and functions of all three branches of government on a federal, state,
and local level.
a. Differentiate among the three branches of government at the federal, state, and local level.
b. Explain and analyze the concepts of separation of powers and checks and balances among
the three branches of state and national governments.
c. Research and summarize how the electoral process works in the United States government. (Mississippi Department of, 2011)

Interdisciplinary Connections
This course is correlated with Computer Discovery and current government/ politics.

Educational Technology Skills
• Students will use Windows Publisher and PowerPoint to create campaign pamphlets
• Students will use Prezi.com or PowerPoint to create campaign presentations
• Student will use windows movie maker to create a campaign commercial
• Flip camera’s will be used to record campaign speeches/ presentations.

The student will learn what the three branches of U.S. government are and their responsibilities. They will also learn how the election process takes place and how the three branches work together to accomplish their tasks through a hands on election experience.

Lesson Materials and Resources
• White Board
• Text Book
• Student Notebooks

Technology Tools and Materials

• Computer Lab
• Flip Camera’s
• Windows Movie Maker, Microsoft Publisher, PowerPoint
• Smart Board

Background Information
The students should have knowledge of how to use either Microsoft PowerPoint, Publisher, or Windows Movie Maker.

Lesson Procedures
1. Students will learn what the three branches of government and will talk about what the next 4 weeks project will cover.
2. The three branches will be broken up into 3 class periods covering each in detail. There will be a final day for review and then the students will be tested on their knowledge.
3. The following 2 weeks the students will be assigned a branch they will campaign for and will be broken up into groups to campaign with.
4. The last week the students will be in their elected positions and the three branches will have to come up with a bill or law they would like to pass and try to pass it through the other branches of government.
Reproducible Materials
• The students will have to design their own handouts for this lesson plan and give them out to the other students. They will be graded on their handouts.
Assessment Procedures
• The students will have a test at the end of the first week on the overview of the three branches of U.S. Government.
• The students will be graded at the end of the following 3 weeks on their group campaign projects.

Students will be able to take their campaign projects home to work on as groups to allow for more time to be creative. Also if the students struggle after the first week of branches overview the final week of passing a bill may be removed for further review of subject material.

Explorations and Extensions
The students will expand their knowledge through a 3 week campaign and election project.

Lesson Development Resources
Mississippi Department of Education, (2011). 2011 mississippi social studies framework Jackson, MS: Retrieved from http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/ACAD/ID/Curriculum/ss/index.html
lesson plan was designed to not only teach the students about the three branches of government, but also to be a hands on experience enriching them through the use of technology. This lesson does not require a lot of handouts or resources other than the students own textbooks. The students themselves will be responsible for creating their own resources.

Contact Information
Amanda Anderson
Lewisburg Middle School
Dot USA, TeachUp! Intern
[email protected]
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
The students campaign materials can also be used in English/ literature as writing grades and materials.
Materials: Flip Video, Point and Shoot, Short Throw Projectors, Microphones, PA Systems, Video Tools, Printers, Camera/Video Accessories, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Cables, Writing, Office Suite, Word Processor, Art Tools, Podcasting, Slideshow, Integrating Technology