Name: Ethan Linkous Subject: Civics Grade: 8 th Date: 3/23/2015

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Name: Ethan Linkous

Subject: Civics

Grade: 8th

Date: 3/23/2015

Virginia SOL: CE.6a

Start time: 10:00am

Stop time: 11:35am

Lesson Title: Checks and Balances

Objectives (What do you want students to know, do, or feel as a result of your instruction?)


TSW describe the system of Checks and Balances


TSW understand how the three branches of our national government (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial) interact with one another.


Critical vocabulary:

Separation of Powers

Checks and Balances




Notes, PowerPoint, Chart, Chapter 5 Questions, Law Rules Video

Pre-assessment: (How will you know if your students already know what you are teaching?)

My pre-assessment activity will be a three questions of bell work. The questions are as follows, “What does bicameral mean?” “What are Expressed Powers?” What are Implied Powers?” These questions are meant to be a review of the material that we covered on Friday. I’m sure that some of my students have completely forgotten what we discussed on Friday and this activity will inform me of how much of the material they retained.

Intro (how do you capture their attention and get them interested?):

I will show students CNN Student News. The Student News is a great way to calm students down when they first enter the class and it exposes them to current events. As this is a civics course it is important for students to be informed citizens.

Body (what comes after your interesting intro?)

Following the conclusion of student news I will be presenting a PowerPoint on Checks and Balances and Separation of Powers. While I am showing the PowerPoint students will be following along by taking notes “fill-in-the-blank” style. I will pause at the conclusion of every slide so that each student has a sufficient amount of time to write down the information that they need for their notes. When we have finished the PowerPoint each student will be given a chart that lists different powers given to the three branches by the Constitution. Students must then list which power goes with which branch. For example, the power to coin money goes with the legislative branch whereas the power to veto legislation is a power of the executive branch. When students have finished with the chart we will go over the chart so that everyone has the correct information. After we have review the chart students will then begin working on Chapter 5 Questions. These questions deal primarily with the Legislative Branch and the Separation of Powers.

Closure (purposeful summary-help them remember today or anticipate tomorrow):

For the last ten minutes of class students will be shown the video Law Rules. This video will go over the concept of Rule of Law. This video will prepare students for tomorrow’s class when we will have a guest speaker, talk about Rule of Law for the last 50 minutes of class.

Homework: Continue working on the Chapter 5 Questions!

Assessment: (How will you assess if they have mastered your objectives? Be specific.)

I will assess, “TSW describe the system of Checks and Balances” based upon the completion of the Textbook questions. I will assess, “TSW understand how the branches of our national government interact with one another.” Based upon the completion of the Textbook questions.

Are you differentiating the lesson according to the parameters in grey? Explain below.


For content I have students working together and individually. For the bell-work and notes portion of the class students are to work individually. When I hand out the chart and the Chapter 5 Questions I will encourage my students to work with one another to complete both assignments.


For process I am differentiating the information in two ways. Firstly, I am presenting the information orally with the PowerPoint and the lecture. The other way I am presenting the information is visually with the graphics on the PowerPoint and the physically with the chart.


Product is not differentiated in this case for all students have to complete the textbook questions and the chart.

The pre-assessment activity will inform me of how well my students understand the material. If students perform well on this task I will know that they are ready for the lesson. The pre-assessment activity will also inform me of what sections of the lesson need to be covered in more detail.


The intro activity, “CNN Student News” usually allows my students to calm down and get used to their surroundings. Using specific questions such as, “Which branch has the power to declare actions of the other two branches unconstitutional?” and “Why do you think that the founders divided power amongst the three branches rather than give all the power to one branch?” I will hopefully peak my student’s interest and they will think critically about the information.


This lesson appeals to multiple learning modalities. The PowerPoint appeals to visual and auditory learners, as does the video. The textbook questions appeal to textual learners and kinesthetic learners (for they can interact with the text by picking it up and actually making physical contact with what they are working on.

learning profile

For cooperative learning explain how you have insured:

positive interdependence- n/a

individual accountability- n/a

group processing- n/a

social skills- n/a

face-to-face interaction- n/a

Reflections (So, how did it go? What will you change to make it better? Do it now or you’ll forget!)

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