Executive Branch


This informational lesson includes detailed information about the executive branch of the government in the United States.  Most students may be aware of the three branches of government, which also include the judicial and legislative branches, but are often unsure of the duties for each branch.  The lesson explains the responsibilities of some cabinet positions and agencies, as well as other information related to the office of the President.  It can be used in conjunction with other related lessons. 

Executive Branch Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Executive Branch
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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It is never too early for students to begin learning about the three branches of the United States government, the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Students may have heard of these branches, but may be unsure of the duties for each branch. Focusing specifically on the executive branch, this lesson explains the responsibilities of some cabinet positions and agencies, as well as other information related to the office of the President. It can be used in conjunction with other related lessons. 

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Play the music: “Hail to the Chief” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oC837oh98_Y).  Ask:  What does this music remind you of when you hear it?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion.
  3. Ask students if they know about the different people who help the president.  Who are they?
  4. Allow for responses and discussion.  Introduce the Executive Branch.
  5. Distribute Executive Branch content pages.  Read and review the information with the students.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page.  Read and review the instructions.  Create groups of 3 or 4 students.  Assign a secretary for each group.  Encourage students to spend time on the activity, and to try and persuade, without arguing, their choices for priority funding.
  7. Once students have completed the activity, each group receives an equal amount of time to share the results, plus a summary of the reasons behind their ratings.
  8. Distribute Practice page.  Review the instructions.  Allow access to the Internet during class time if possible.  Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page.  The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  10. In closing, ask:  If the current President of the United States asked you to become a member of the Executive Branch, what position would you choose and why?   

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4 , CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes):At least 2 class sessions.

Additional Resources:

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Social Studies

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