Checks and Balances

In our Checks and Balances lesson plan, students learn about the system of checks and balances present in the United States government between the three branches of government and how they work. Students learn how checks and balances are used for the separation of powers and learn facts about each of the three branches.

Our Checks and Balances lesson plan reviews the concept of Checks and Balances as it relates to the three branches of the United States government. Most students are aware of the three branches of government and should understand the process of a bill being passed, but often are unclear of this “checks and balances” concept. The students will become aware of how checks and balances separate the power of the branches of government. During this lesson, students are asked to discuss each of the following Congressional bills that were vetoed by Presidents in the past, explain to their group why you agree or disagree with the veto; the group will then take a vote on whether the bill should pass and become a law in the United States. Students are also asked to match given facts or information with the correct government branch: Legislative, Executive, or Judicial, demonstrating their understanding of the lesson material.

At the end of the lesson, students will be able to define checks and balances and explain how it relates to the separation of powers and the 3 branches of the U.S. government.

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

Additional information


Social Studies, Video


4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

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Filter Reviews:
    Kerinda B.
    US US
    Checks and Balances

    Haven't used it yet.However, after reviewing the lesson I am excited to present it to my students right around the time that we are learning about the election.

    Mavis E.
    US US
    Checks and Balances

    I have not used the materials, but they will cover the contents that I want to teach.

    Laura W.
    US US

    Informative and excellent resource.