Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of an elementary school student.
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State Government and the Role of the Citizen

Video Summary: How does government function at the state level? How are state laws made? In this lesson, Diane Kerr's students examine the branches of state government, the powers of each branch, and how a bill becomes a law.

Ms. Kerr begins by identifying the three branches of government and describing the role of each branch. Working in small groups, students use vocabulary cards and a picture of a tree to create posters that illustrate the relationship between the legislative, judicial, and executive "branches." Then students examine the process by which a bill becomes a law and make flip books that illustrate each step. Next, Ms. Kerr identifies their state representative -- the elected official who introduces bills on their behalf -- then asks students to consider what legislation they would introduce if they were representatives. As the lesson concludes, students write letters to their state representative as concerned citizens, asking her to consider their proposals.

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