Every citizen of the United States needs to understand the three branches of government and what powers the Constitution grants them.
Using a copy of the Constitution go through the “Three Branches by the Constitution” worksheet. Each of the powers granted to the Federal Government are written in the boxes on the worksheet. Color code each box to show which entity of the government has the specific power mentioned. You’ll have to consult the Constitution for the answers.
The Legislative branch should have two colors in the same color family to designate it, like orange and yellow, and the President and vice president should also have two colors in the same color family to represent them, like dark blue and light blue. The Supreme Court justices can all be in the same color, like green. Many of the legislative functions are shared by the House and Senate, these can be colored with both orange and yellow.
If you like, you can obtain and print portraits of each of the people currently in office to paste into the boxes. Images should be about 80×100 pixels and can be re-sized with photo editing software or using Paint.
- Why do we use an electoral college instead of a direct popular vote? Find out here. But the debate over the electoral college has been hot since before the Constitution even took effect. Read Federalist Paper #68 and Anti-Federalist Paper #72 to hear the arguments for and against.
- Learn more about James Madison, the man who was the driving force behind the Constitution. We love The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz.
- Learn the history, men, and events surrounding the Constitution. Try Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz or We The People: The Story of Our Constitution by Lynne Cheney.
- Is the Constitution over your head? Try The U.S. Constitution For Everyone by Jerome Agel and Mort Gerberg.