Separation of Powers

Amending the Constitution (Grades 7-12)
This lesson from Insights magazine explores the Constitutional amendment process, why the process should be taken with care, and how amendments have shaped the U.S. Constitution into the document we know today. Historical background on the Constitution amendment process may be found here.

He Does It All (Grades K-6)
Stages a scenario where a police officer who does everything from issuing a ticket to doling out punishment during a traffic stop.

Reforming American Government for the 21st Century (Grades 9-12)
Simulated constitutional convention asks participants to consider the citizenship clause of the presidential requirements, and the use of federal referenda, explores amending the U.S. Constitution. May also use this summary handout from the National Constitution Center to supplement the lesson.

The Supreme Court and Congress (Grades 9-12)
This article and accompanying discussion questions from Insights provides a background for a conversation on the interactions between the legislative and judicial branches of American government.

Understanding the Separation of Powers (Grades 6-12)
Participants use current newspaper articles to discuss and learn about separation of powers. Requires newspapers or computers for research.

Why Courts and Congress Collide, and Why their Conflicts Subside (Grades 9-12)
An Insights article examines the tensions between the judicial and legislative branches of government, and how the Constitution created a system of debate and compromise. Discussion questions follow the article.