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Lesson Plan

Branches of National Government by ECSDM


Social Studies (NYS K-12 Framework Common Core)

Grade Levels

Intermediate, 5th Grade


This lesson is intended to assist students in reviewing the three branches of the United States government in preparation for the NYS 5th Grade Social Studies Assessment.

Duration of Lesson


Learning Objectives

  • Students will activate their prior knowledge of national government.
  • Students will listen to different video clips and participate in an oral discussion concerning the branches of national government.
  • Students will familiarize themselves with the NYS test format by completing a Constructed Response Question.


  • SMART Board set-up (laptop, projector, SMART Board)
  • Branches of Government SMART Notebook file (attached)
  • Social Studies notebook
  • Pencil
  • Copies of 2007 CRQ: SMART Notebook file Slide 6 (one per student)
  • branches of government.notebook
  • Step-by-Step Procedure

    1. Slide 1 – Students will view the title of the lesson. The teacher will now activate prior knowledge concerning the branches of national government through oral discussion.
    2. Slide 2 through Slide 4 – Students will listen to a video concerning one of the branches of government. It is recommended to stop the video at various times to check for understanding and pose questions. Using the Show/Hide Screen Shade icon, the teacher will instruct the students to copy the notes from SMART Board.
    3. Slide 5 – Students will play the interactive game various times to reinforce the objectives of the lesson.
    4. Slide 6 – Distribute copies of Slide 6 to each student. Students will work in groups or independently (teacher preference) for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.
    5. Inform the students that this is a CRQ, Constructed Response Question, from the New York State Grade 5 Social Studies Assessment. Instruct them to utilize the following steps in answering the CRQ. First “carefully” read the title and all the information written in the table. Then read the questions and underline key words to help them in responding. Lastly, explain to students that the answers to the questions are in the table.
    6. While students are working in groups or independently, the teacher will walk around and assist students.
    7. When the students have completed the task, have volunteers come up to the SMART Board and circle key words in the questions as well as the answers found in the table.


    Discovery Education


    Slide 6 – Assessment for this review lesson will be based on the accurate completion of the CRQ and the informal teacher observations while assisting students during the lesson.

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