When I started this project I knew that I wanted to talk about the three branches of the United States government. I felt that it directly tied into the current events, as we are coming up to the end of our own presidential election. I wanted to share this knowledge with the students, and impress upon them the fact that being a civic minded citizen is something to strive for. The state standards in Arizona were perfectly aligned with my idea for the assignment, and it was very easy to include vocabulary and spelling words in order to meet ELA standards and combine lessons to maximize class time. Each lesson can be completed in as little as 25 minutes, but can be stretched to 45 minutes, depending on how in-depth the conversation goes.
While the five day lesson does rely on worksheets and direct teaching, it also demonstrates the different levels of the United States government by showing the students a very small example. Students will work independently, in pairs, and as a larger group, in order to complete the various worksheets and assignments. I have included Venn diagrams, and even a YouTube music video that will hopefully engage the students, and also appeal to students who learn more on an auditory level. Each page is accompanied by a visual aid or chart, so that students can engage learning by reading, writing, speaking, and listening. I feel that this is the best practice ...
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...he classroom, provided that the teacher can be engaging and thought provoking without turning the assignment into a lecture that goes on and on. The tasks and directions are short and simple, easy enough for 3rd grade students to understand, but still challenging in their own right. The lesson could easily be improved upon to teach 4th and 5th grade students as well.
In conclusion, while this was a time consuming project, it was also a real eye opener when it comes to the amount of resources available out in the world for students and teachers. There are worksheets available on multiple sites, many free of charge, but it is just as easy to create your own worksheets and graphic organizers. A little bit of planning and this lesson the on three branches of the United States government can turn into a lesson that teaches students about the importance of civic virtue.
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