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Three Branches of Government Worksheet

This exploration is for kids from 10 and up, grades 5 through 12th, as the colored smilies show. You learn about the three branches of American government with your older children.

5th thru 8th grades
9th thru 12th grades

Layers of Learning Unit 4-1
Unit 4-1: American Government, U.S.A., Heat & Temperature, Patriotic Music

The three branches of government worksheet is a history exploration from Layers of Learning Unit 4-1 about American government. Layers of Learning has hands-on experiments in every unit of this family-friendly curriculum. Learn more about Layers of Learning.

The United States Constitution divides the federal government into three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. It also tells exactly what roles and powers each of those branches has. The worksheet below helps visually organize the Constitutional powers of each branch for better understanding.

Step 1: Library Research

Before you begin exploring, read a book or two about American government. Here are some suggestions, but if you can’t find these, look for books at your library about American government or the Constitution. The colored smilies above each book tell you what age level they’re recommended for.

Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution

by Jean Fritz

This book tells the story behind the Constitution, why it was written , and by whom.

The Constitution Made Easy

by Michael Holler

A spiral bound, easy to study copy of the Constitution. The original text is side-by-side with a “translation” into modern English.

Step 2: Constitutional Three Branches of Government Worksheet

To complete the “Three Branches by the Constitution” worksheet you will need a copy of the Constitution, colored pencils and the Three Branches by the Constitution printable.

Its nice to have a copy of the Constitution in your home library, but you can also read it online.
Kids read the Constitution and color code the powers and authorities of each branch on this printable worksheet.

Click on the image to get the printable.

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.

To read through the whole Constitution and discuss it can take many hours. We recommend you break this up into several days. 

We chose to use yellow for the House of Representatives and red for the Senate. You could also just have one color for the legislative branch. Blue shows the executive branch. Green is the judicial branch. You can choose whatever colors you like.

As you read the Constitution together, find the powers listed in it and color them according to which branch has that power. The Senate and the House of Representatives often share powers and so we divided those boxes into two parts.

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 Microsoft Paint.

Step 3: Show What You Know

Use the completed worksheet to teach the powers that each part of the government has to someone else, like your dad or your little brother.

Additional Layers

Additional Layers are extra activities you can do or tangents you can take off on. You will find them in the sidebars of each Layers of Learning unit. They are optional, so just choose what interests you.

Memorization Station

Memorize the Preamble to the Constitution. We like the Schoolhouse Rock video.

Expedition

If you have a chance to visit Washington D.C. stop by the National Archives where the original Constitution and Declaration of Independence are on display.

Famous Folks

Learn more about James Madison, the man who was the driving force behind the Constitution.  We love The Great Little Madison by Jean Fritz.

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