LEARNING OBJECTIVE

Students will learn how the Constitution established the three branches of the government and understand the importance of its 27 amendments.

KEY STANDARDS

RH.6-8-2, RH.6-8-7, RI.6-8-7

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

• Use this video as part of a lesson on the U.S. Constitution.

• Incorporate this video into a discussion of the amendments to the Constitution or the Bill of Rights.

Before Reading

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
(5 MINUTES)

Tell students that they’re about to watch a video on the U.S. Constitution. Ask: What are the three branches of government the Constitution created? How has the document been changed over the years?

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Read & Analyze

WATCH AS A CLASS
(3 MINUTES)

Have students watch the video as a class. Before viewing, advise them to pay special attention to information about the Constitution’s 27 amendments and some of the issues they covered.

CLOSE-VIEWING QUESTIONS
(15 MINUTES)

Have students write their answers to each question, or use these prompts to guide a discussion.

• SUMMARIZING: What were the three branches of government created by the Constitution? How does the Constitution make sure no branch is too powerful?
(The branches are the executive, legislative, and judicial. The Constitution allows each branch to check, or limit, the powers of the others.)

• EXPLICIT INFORMATION: What did the Framers make sure could be done to the Constitution if necessary?
(If necessary, the Constitution could be amended or changed.)

Extend & Assess

FEATURED SKILLS: CRITICAL THINKING/MEDIA LITERACY

Reinforce students’ critical-thinking skills by assigning the skills sheet Critical Thinking/Media Literacy: The U.S. Constitution. Give them time to read through the questions, then watch the video again, perhaps pausing at key moments so they can take notes for writing their answer the questions.

READING A DIAGRAM

Reinforce students’ knowledge about how the Constitution balances power between the branches of government by assigning the skills sheet Checks and Balances.

DIFFERENTIATING

Lower Level Have students work with a partner on one of the skills sheets.

Higher Level Assign one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights to individual students. Then have each do some research to find a U.S. Supreme Court case that rested on that amendment. Ask: What were the issues in the case and how did the amendment apply? How did the Court rule?

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