Author:
Leslie Heffernan, Jerry Price, Kari Tally, Margit McGuire, Washington OSPI OER Project, Barbara Soots
Subject:
History, U.S. History
Material Type:
Lesson
Level:
Upper Primary
Tags:
  • Branches of Government
  • Civic Action
  • Civics
  • Government
  • History
  • State Government
  • wa-social-studies
    License:
    Creative Commons Attribution
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs

    Education Standards

    The State We're In: Washington - Teacher Guide Chapter 7 - Governing Washington Today is Complicated!

    The State We're In: Washington - Teacher Guide Chapter 7 - Governing Washington Today is Complicated!

    Overview

    Since Washington became a state in 1889, the job of governing has become much bigger. Even so, the basic structure—a legislative branch, an executive branch and a judicial branch—is the same as 100 years ago.

    This is the teacher guide companion to The State We're In: Washington (Grade 3-5 Edition) Chapter 7. The resource is designed to engage students with a launch activity, focused notes, and a focused inquiry.

    Introduction

    In this lesson, students will understand that state government comprising the legislative, executive, and judicial branches serve the people of the State of Washington. People living in Washington need to understand how the government functions so they can have a voice on important state and community issues.

    To reinforce student understanding of the three branches of government, students create a “concept map” foldable based on their investigation of the branches of government described in the chapter. Building on that investigation, students make the case for why it is important to understand how their state government works.

    Back to Teacher Guide Menu

    Governing Washington Today is Complicated!

    General Overview

    Enduring Understanding

    The state government comprising the legislative, executive, and judicial branches serve the people of the State of Washington. People living in Washington need to understand how the government functions so they can have a voice on important state and community issues.

    Supporting Questions

    Students consider these questions - finding and using evidence to support the Enduring Understanding.

    • What is the role of the legislative branch of the state?
    • What is the role of the executive branch of the state?
    • What is the role of the judicial branch of the state?
    • Why is it important for people living in Washington to understand how their state government works?

    Learning Targets

    Students will be able to…

    • C2.5.5 Describe the basic duties of the three branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial).
    • C4.4.2 Analyze and evaluate ways of influencing state governments to establish or preserve individual rights and promote the common good.

    Key Vocabulary

    A list of key Tier 2 vocabulary words is included here for your students. Teach these using whatever strategy you find works best for your students. Encourage students to incorporate these vocabulary words as they work through the components of the chapter guide and intentionally use them as appropriate in their final products.

    • separation of powers, each branch of government has power over one part of government to make sure no one branch of government has too much power (p.106)
    • rule of law, the idea that the laws of a country or state are obeyed by everyone (p.106)
    • district, a geographic area of land established by the government for official government business  (p.107)
    • agency, an office in the government that has special state responsibilities to serve the people  (p.109)
    • veto, to refuse to allow a bill to become a law  (p.110)
    • amend, to change the wording of a bill  (p.111)
    • public servant, a person who works in government to serve the people of the state (p.117)
    • commission, a group of people who have an official state job or responsibility to oversee something or find out information about something (p.117)
    • corrupt, to be dishonest (p.123)
    • fraud, using dishonest methods to get something of value from another person (p.124)
    • deeded, the act of officially giving land or buildings to a person(s), group or the government (p.124)

    Task 1: Launch

    Hooking students into the content of the chapter.

    Distribute the Student handout: Launch to students. Show students virtual tours and images of the government buildings (Legislative Building, Temple of Justice, Governor’s Mansion, etc.) as you guide them through the discussion

    Guide students in responding to the prompts on the handout with a partner. There is no “correct” answer. Encourage the students to explain their thinking with each other.

    Task 2: Focused Notes

    Activating student thinking about the content of the entire chapter.

    Distribute the Student handout: Focused Notes to students. Note: The Focused Notes are divided into three sections so that discussions can focus on each branch of state government.

    • As students read, they will record their understanding, thinking, and questions about the content using the handout. This can be done individually or collaboratively in pairs or small groups.

    Task 3: Focused Inquiry

    A focused inquiry is a one-to-two-day lesson that will have students engaging in the C3 Framework’s Inquiry Arc. The link below includes both teacher and student documents.

    Compelling Question

    Why is it important for people living in Washington to understand how their state government works?

    Attribution and License

    Attribution

    This Teacher’s Guide for The State We’re In: Washington - Chapter 7 was developed by Margit E. McGuire, Seattle University.

    The Focused Inquiry was developed by Margit E. McGuire, Seattle University and Nancy Lenihan, Sumner-Bonney Lake School District.

    The downloadable digital version of The State We're In: Washington (Grades 3-5 Edition) by Jill Severn for the League of Women Voters of Washington Education Fund is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Print copies of The State We’re In: Washington, may be purchased from the League of Women Voters of Washington website.

    License

    CC BY logo
    Except where otherwise noted, Teacher’s Guide Chapter 7 - The State We’re In: Washington, copyright Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, is available under a Creative Commons Attribution License. All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners. Sections used under fair use doctrine (17 U.S.C. § 107) are marked.