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LESSON PLAN For Presidential Cabinet

By Danielle Bonfig
UNIT: Executive Branch
BRIEF UNIT DESCRIPTION: This unit covers the United States Executive
Branch, in which encompases the structure and function of this branch and
the presidency. Lessons range from the Constitutional foundations for the
Presidency, how it has expanded and formed over the years, the role of
Federal Bureaucracy, Presidential Powers, and finally the electoral college
process.
Focus of this Lesson: The United States Cabinet
LESSON: Not Your Typical Cabinet & Swatter Game
UNIT ENDURING UNDERSTANDINGS

The Constitution establishes the Executive branch including the


roles and qualifications of the President.
The Executive branch encompasses more than the President and
Vice President
UNIT ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS

What are the functions of the Cabinet and how have they
evolved?
CONTENT OBJECTIVE:
SWBAT understand the complexity of the Executive Branch
starting with the Cabinet.
SKILL OBJECTIVE:
Students will Students will identify important information on the
Cabinet departments by using cards at different stations and
completing the provided chart in groups of
four.
ARIZONA STANDARDS:

PO 6. Analyze the structure, powers, and roles of


the executive branch of the United States government:
a. specific
powers delegated in Article II of the Constitution b. roles and duties of
the president
c. development and function of the executive
branch, including the cabinet and federal bureaucracy d. election of
the president through the nomination process, national conventions,
and electoral college
Arizona College and Career Ready (CCR) Standards

11-12.WHST.10. Write routinely over extended time frames


(time for reflection and revision) and shorter time frames (a single
sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks,
purposes, and audiences.

NCSS THEME
NCSS Thematic Strand 5Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
NCSS Thematic Strand 6Power, Authority, and Governance
NCSS Thematic Strand 10Civic Ideals and Practices
INSTRUCTOR NEEDS TO KNOW TO TEACH THIS LESSON: In order to
teach this lesson, the instructor should be familiar with the structure and
functions of the United States Executive Branch--inparticular the Cabinet.
ASSESSMENT:
Pre-assessment - N/A
Copy of Assessment: N/A
Formative assessment - Assessment for this lesson is largely informal.
The instructor must circle the room and gauge student engagement and
understanding through the course of the different activities. Scaffolding and
modeling will be necessary for the swatter game.
Copy of Assessment: N/A
INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS:
For the hook (optional/adaptable)
o 15 objects to represent the different Cabinet
Departments (e.g. a large stuffed animal for Interior, toy cars for
Transportation, a globe for State, etc)
Cabinet Powerpoint (printed out 4 slides to a page to create
cards -- slides 4-18)
o https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4l9gf0CTgxZWGZBd
GlCTENiZ1U/view?usp=sharing
Cabinet Handout/Chart (one copy for each student)
o https://drive.google.com/a/nau.edu/file/d/0B4l9gf0CT
gxZa29sX2FROTlnTVE/view?usp=sharing
For Swatter Game
o White board
o 2 fly swatters/ hacky sacks (see accommodations)
HOMEWORK FOR NEXT DAY:
Textbook Reading on Ch 8: Section 3 & 4
USE OF TECHNOLOGY/INQUIRY: This lesson outrightly does not utilize
technology but could be adapted to have students look up currently what

actions the different departments are taking part in as an additional activity


depending on the availability of devices for the students which would also
address student inquiry.
ACCOMMODATIONS: This lesson could be adjusted for students needs by
direct instruction of the information and a formal note taking style, providing
materials in advance and after class time. The swatter game portion of the
lesson could adapted in various ways to multiple teams, large writing, shy
students acting as scorekeepers, etc. If concerned about students waiving
flyswatters around, such items could be replaced with hacky sacks to have
students throw from safe distances instead.
VOCABULARY: N/A for this lesson
LESSON OUTLINE AND DESCRIPTION OF STRATEGIES: In particular, this
lesson acts as an engaging means to have students decipher important
information and recall that information. The hook is intended to have
students not only think about the roles and duties of the president but of the
whole executive branch. The tangible objects also can be referred to again
during the swatter game. Round House Notes acts as a means to have
students collaborate with their peers to collect the information on The
Cabinet. Having the students moving around forces them to engage and stay
on topic with the time restrictions. It should be noted the time restrictions
should be lenient to allow for slower writers to catch up and the instructor
should often clarify that breaking up the cards among pod members would
be ideal. Completing the handout allows students to reflect on the
information the collected and to some extent apply their understanding of
the different departments through matching departments and
duties/responsibilities. The swatter game allows for students to again
collaborate with teammates and apply what information they have
obtained. The closing activity largely is to round out the lesson and have
students reflect on who The Cabinet members are and is intended to have
students think about who does advise the president and help them make
connections to their reading for homework.
STEP BY STEP SEQUENCE OF DAILY PLAN:
Time

Activity

Students Learning Tasks

Teachers Learning Tasks

Before
class

N/A

Ensure all materials are


available and ready:
Compose room into pods,
write Cabinet departments in
a randomized order on the
whiteboard out of student
view.

2-3
min

2 min

Announ
cement
s,
News,
Class
Busines
s

Students may ask


questions about due dates,
the news, or any other
class business.

Hook

As student volunteer
collects more issues
fellow students observe
and provide explanations
for any complications.

Due dates should be noted


by all students in their
planners/notes

Provide news clips, similar to


CBS Eye Opener for news.
Address any class business in
regard to due dates,
homework for the night, and
changes in class schedule.

Have a student volunteer to


act as the executive branch.
In the front of the room, for all
students to view, begin
handing the student volunteer
different issues to handle as
the president. Ensure that
the objects are cumbersome
in some aspect: there are
many or their issues are
large.
Address prior concepts of
roles of the presidency and
send volunteer around the
room with his/her tasks.
Address the class and ask for
feedback about the situation.
Use the discussion on
limitations of one person
handling all of these issues
individually and introduce the
Cabinet to the students.

15-20

Main
Activity
I:
Round
House
Notes

Students, in their pods, will


travel to each grouping to
collect information about
the different Cabinet
departments. Students
should be encouraged to
work together to get as
much information as they
can before moving to a
new group at the
designated move time.

Deal out cards to the different


pods. Each pod should have at
minimum two cards. Send
entire groups around the room
to collect information. Give
each round 1 -2 minutes at
each pod (ensuring that
students are aware of the
time restraint). Give an
additional 2-3 minutes for the
students to compile their
information in their original

Students will then compile


their information and then
complete the backside of
their charts-conferring
within the groups to which
department matches which
duty.
As a class, the handout will
be reviewed and answers
verified with student
clarification.
15-20

10
min

pods.
After completing the chart,
have students begin in their
pods on completing the back
side of the handout.
As the class finishes the
handout, have the class
review their responses.

Main
Activity
II:
Swatter
Game

After breaking into 2


teams, at teachers
discretion, students will
compete to match the
different
details/responsibilities to
their appropriate
departments.

Challenge the class to test


their knowledge of the
Cabinet. Break students into 2
teams.

Closing
Activity
:
Think
Pair
Share/
Quick
Write

Students will participate in


a think-pair-share
structured quick write and
discussion over who
advises the president and
what
qualifications/characteristi
cs might these individuals
have.

Have the students Think-PairShare the questionWho


aids/advises the President?
What qualifications do these
individuals hold? Lead
students into a brief
discussion on the
qualifications of Cabinet
Secretary in comparison to
the White House Staff.

Students will complete


their quick write as an exit
ticket for the day.

Clarify instructions and


facilitate the game by reading
off descriptions/details from
department cards.

Use Quick Write as an exit


ticket depending on time.