Have students write their answers to each question, or use these prompts to guide a discussion.
• SUMMARIZING: What are the three branches of government established by the Constitution? What “checks and balances” does each have on the others?
(The legislative branch—Congress—confirms the president’s nominees for federal court and Cabinet positions. The president—as head of the executive branch—can veto laws created by Congress and appoints federal judges. The judicial branch—headed by the Supreme Court—can overturn laws of Congress and executive orders of the president that it finds unconstitutional.)
• EXPLICIT INFORMATION: Who is considered the Father of the Constitution and why?
(James Madison is called the Father of the Constitution because he played a key role at the Constitutional Convention.)
• ANALYZING DETAILS: Why did U.S. leaders call for the convention that met in May 1787? What was the result?
(The federal government established by the 13 original states had limited power. The leaders who called for the convention believed that the government needed a stronger government. That process resulted in the writing of the Constitution.)