Standard 3: Structure and Functions of Government

General Information
Number: SS.5.CG.3
Title: Structure and Functions of Government
Type: Standard
Subject: Social Studies
Grade: 5
Strand: Civics and Government (Starting 2023-2024)

Related Benchmarks

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

SS.5.CG.3.AP.1
Recognize the structure of the national government as defined in the U.S. Constitution.
SS.5.CG.3.AP.2
Recognize that the power of the national government is limited by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
SS.5.CG.3.AP.3
Recognize the role of the United States and Florida Supreme Court.
SS.5.CG.3.AP.4
Recognize that the U.S. Constitution has amendments.
SS.5.CG.3.AP.5
Recognize the basic outline of the U.S. and Florida Constitutions.
SS.5.CG.3.AP.6
Identify examples of powers granted to the national government and those reserved to the states.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

Cause for a Constitution: Part 2:

In this lesson, students will read an informational text describing the reasons why we have a U.S. Constitution and how it's written (articles, preambles, amendments). After teacher modeling, students will work individually or in pairs to use the text from Lesson 1 and the text from Lesson 2 to complete a cause and effect thinking map. This is lesson 2 of 3 in a mini-unit integrating civics and social studies.

Type: Lesson Plan

Cause for a Constitution: Part 1:

In this lesson, students will read an informational text about the events leading up to the American Revolution. They will discuss the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Students will engage in a discourse circle about how the experiences of the colonists leading up to the American Revolution laid the groundwork that would later be reflected in the Constitution. This is lesson 1 of 3 in a mini-unit integrating civics and social studies.

Type: Lesson Plan

Hidden Figures: Executive Orders:

This is lesson #2 in the text unit series for Hidden Figures. Students will continue their vocabulary chart and timeline, while learning about text features contributing to the overall meaning of text. Additionally, students will use the text to provide examples of powers granted to the national and state government.

In this text unit of Hidden Figures, students will explain how text features such as photos, captions and headings contribute to the meaning of the several chapters. Students will also explain how relevant details support the central idea of different sections. Throughout the text, students will determine the meaning of unknown words. Students will connect to civics by identifying civic duties and responsibilities of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherie Johnson. Additionally, students will provide examples of powers given to the national government and those reserved to the states. The students will explain why the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the system and review previous Supreme Court rulings.

This resource uses a book that is on the Florida Department of Education's reading list. This book is not provided with this resource.

Type: Lesson Plan

Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution: Themes of the Grand Convention (Constitutional Convention):

This is lesson # 9 in the text unit for Shh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz. The lesson focuses on planning an expository essay after reading and annotating the second text The Bill of Rights: A Transcription. The lesson utilizes an essay planning template to help students organize the details from each text to support a common theme/central idea shared between the two texts. As an extension, students can draft the essay or turn the planning notes into a presentation using digital programs. This lesson will help students understand why and how the Constitution was created, including: the thirteen states and important historical figures present during the creation, the challenges and conflicts that state representatives faced during writing the Constitution, motifs and themes during the “Grand Convention,” and the relationship between state and national constitutions.

The lessons in this text-based unit will allow students to identify citizens’ civic duties outlined by the Constitution, the relationship between the federal and state Constitutions, and important historical symbols. Each part of the unit will include an in-depth dive into vocabulary and how it applies to the meaning of the text.

This resource uses a book that is on the Florida Department of Education's reading list. This book is not provided with this resource.

Type: Lesson Plan

Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution: Figurative Language During the Grand Convention:

This is lesson 3 in the text unit series for Shh! We're Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz. This lesson allows students to interpret unknown words and figurative language including simile, metaphor, idioms, hyperbole, and personification within the text. Students will infer attitudes or perspectives reflected by state representatives toward the meeting, ideas expressed in speeches given by the state representatives, and challenges faced during the Grand Convention all while developing their understanding of figurative language.

This unit will help students understand why and how the Constitution was created, including: the thirteen states and important historical figures present during the creation, the challenges and conflicts that state representatives faced during writing the Constitution, motifs and themes during the “Grand Convention,” and the relationship between state and national constitutions. Lessons will allow students to identify citizens’ civic duties outlined by the Constitution, the relationship between the federal and state Constitutions, and important historical symbols. Each part of the unit will include an in-depth dive into vocabulary and how it applies to the meaning of the text.

This resource uses a book that is on the Florida Department of Education's reading list. This book is not provided with this resource.

Type: Lesson Plan

Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution: Constitution Jigsaw Activity:

This is lesson # 12 in the text unit for Shhh! We’re Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz. This lesson is a culminating activity where students deepen their knowledge of the Constitution after reading the text. Students will be organized into groups where they will be assigned specific Articles from the US Constitution. Every group will be assigned different Articles so that the class is able to cover the whole Constitution. In groups, students will analyze and interpret the articles they have been assigned while referencing the text, dictionary, and internet resources for support. Groups will be given chart paper to define and explain their specific Articles to the class. Students will take notes from the other group’s presentations, so they have notes on all of the Articles and not just the one they have been assigned.

This unit will help students understand why and how the Constitution was created, including: the original thirteen colonies and important historical figures present during the creation, the challenges and conflicts that state representatives faced during writing the Constitution, motifs and themes during the “Grand Convention,” and the relationship between state and national constitutions. Lessons will allow students to identify citizens’ civic duties outlined by the Constitution, the relationship between the federal and state Constitutions, and important historical symbols. Each part of the unit will include an in-depth dive into vocabulary and how it applies to the meaning of the text.

This resource uses a book that is on the Florida Department of Education's reading list. This book is not provided with this resource.

Type: Lesson Plan

Have You Experienced A Natural Disaster? :

Students will be introduced to Natural Disasters by using a KWL Chart. They will list and be able to explain some Natural Disasters that take place in Florida. Students will write to learn using an interactive presentation with facts and pictures to complete a graphic organizer.  In this integrated lesson plan, students will explore how developing a preparedness plan is an important part of being a responsible citizen.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Checks and Balances - Why and How?:

In this lesson plan, students will review the three branches of government as outlined by the U.S. Constitution.  Following the review, the students will get a chance to role-play the system of checks and balances to apply the principles of the Constitution to protect citizens from outlandish laws.

Type: Lesson Plan

Shhh! We're Writing the Constitution: The 3 Branches of Government:

This is lesson # 2 in the text unit series for Shh! We're Writing the Constitution by Jean Fritz. After the class reads pgs 14-21 in whole group, students will complete a graphic organizer to identify and describe the structure and functions of the three different branches of government. Students will then summarize using their graphic organizer including the central idea and relevant details of the text.

This unit will help students understand why and how the Constitution was created, including: the thirteen colonies and important historical figures present during the creation, the challenges and conflicts that state representatives faced during writing the Constitution, motifs and themes during the “Grand Convention,” and the relationship between state and national constitutions. Lessons will allow students to identify citizens’ civic duties outlined by the Constitution, the relationship between the federal and state Constitutions, and important historical symbols. Each part of the unit will include an in-depth dive into vocabulary and how it applies to the meaning of the text.

This resource uses a book that is on the Florida Department of Education's reading list. This book is not provided with this resource.

Type: Lesson Plan

Nation for Representation: Part 1:

In this integrated lesson, students will use digital research skills to identify and analyze different types of government including representative vs. other types of government.  Students will complete a graphic organizer. This lesson is part one of a multi-part lesson that will end with a culminating project that identifies characteristics of a representative government using digital resources. 

 

Type: Lesson Plan

When Change Is Needed :

In this lesson students will examine the reasons why the United States Constitution includes the amendment process. Students will identify what it means to amend the U.S. Constitution and the number of times it has been amended across the course of history. Students will also identify amendments to the U.S. Constitution by examining various periods in history that resulted in the passage of constitutional amendments.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Learning About U.S. States & Capitals: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska:

In this lesson, students will learn the locations of four different states – Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska – as well as the capital cities of each state.  Students will conduct research to learn more about these four states and will record their information in a packet.  The teacher will also review the concept of federalism to reinforce why each state has its own government and capital.  To close the lesson, students will create a travel brochure for one of the states. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Learning About U.S. States & Capitals: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico:

In this lesson, students will learn the locations of five different states – Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico – as well as the capital cities of each state.  Students will conduct research to learn more about these five states and will record their information in a packet.  The teacher will also review the concept of federalism to reinforce why each state has its own government and capital.  To close the lesson, students will need to label the states and their capitals on a blank map of the United States.

Type: Lesson Plan

Learning About U.S. States & Capitals: Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota:

In this lesson, students will learn the locations of five different states – Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota – as well as the capital cities of each state.  Students will conduct research to learn more about these five states and will record their information in a packet.  The teacher will also review the concept of federalism to reinforce why each state has its own government and capital.  To close the lesson, students will need to label the states and their capitals on a blank map of the United States.

Type: Lesson Plan

Learning About U.S. States & Capitals: California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii:

In this lesson, students will learn the locations of five different states – California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii – as well as the capital cities of each state.  Students will conduct research to learn more about these five states and will record their information in a packet.  The teacher will also review the concept of federalism to reinforce why each state has its own government and capital.  To close the lesson, students will need to label the states and their capitals on a blank map of the United States.

Type: Lesson Plan

Who Represents Florida? - The Senate :

In this lesson plan, students will review the legislative branch and learn about the history of the Senate. Students will look at the term length of senators, as well as the duties and authority of the Senate.  Students will then identify 4 senators that have represented and served Florida at the national level, across the course of history, through the development and completion of a timeline.

 

Type: Lesson Plan

Plot the Constitution:

Students will work with a landscape architect to develop a plan for fountain placements and a walking path for a new city park. To complete the task, students must analyze and rank the U.S. Constitution‘s Bill of Rights according to the client’s directives. Students will apply geometry concepts to accurately plot and label coordinates on a park map. Throughout the process, students will work collaboratively to analyze and discuss their reasoning in this model eliciting activity.

Type: Lesson Plan

Change a Law, Change History:

In this lesson plan, students will participate in a gallery walk of amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Students will illustrate and interpret the meaning of the amendments that cause major changes to the laws of the United States. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Hidden Figures: Brown v. Board:

This is lesson #9 in the text unit series for Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. In this lesson, students will learn about the role of the Supreme Court in the Brown vs. Board of Education case and analyze the impact of the ruling, based on the text. Additionally, students will work collaboratively to determine how text features contribute to the meaning of the chapter.

In this text unit of Hidden Figures, students will explain how text features such as photos, captions, and headings contribute to the meaning of several chapters. Students will also explain how relevant details support the central idea of different sections. Throughout the text, students will determine the meaning of unknown words. Students will connect to civics by identifying civic duties and responsibilities of Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, and Katherine Johnson. Additionally, students will provide examples of powers given to the national government and those reserved to the states. The students will explain why the U.S. Supreme Court is the highest court in the system and review previous Supreme Court rulings.

This resource uses a book that is on the Florida Department of Education's reading list. This book is not provided with this resource.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sorting the Branches of Government:

Students will use the provided interactive research guide to identify and sort the three branches of government. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Federalism and Government Powers:

In this lesson, students explore federalism and its importance through a slideshow, guided notes, a reading, independent practice, and an exit ticket.  The lesson contains opportunities for discussion, assesssment, and reflection. 

Type: Lesson Plan

The Three Branches of Government :

In this student-guided presentation on the three branches of government, students will evaluate the choices and impacts of those choices made in the U.S. Constitution that provide the structure, power, and functions of the federal government. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Student Inquiry: How did the U.S. Constitution Influence the Florida Constitution?:

In this inquiry lesson, students will investigate using compelling and supporting questions, the impact of the U.S. Constitution on the Florida Constitution. The method of student-group demonstrations of learning is suggested, but flexible. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Our Government is Branching Out:

In this lesson plan, students will be introduced to how the U.S. structures its government into three branches and what each branch’s basic functions are.

Type: Lesson Plan

Amending the U.S. Constitution:

In this lesson plan, students will read and annotate information related to the process for amending the United States Constitution, specifically related to voting rights. Students will create a flow chart that shows the various methods to create amendments, and finish by reflecting on their learning process. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Principles of the U.S. Constitution :

In this lesson plan, students will analyze how the Constitution is limited by the following concepts; popular sovereignty, rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism, the amendment process, and the fundamental rights of citizens in the Bill of Rights.

Type: Lesson Plan

Preparing for a Natural Disaster:

Students work collaboratively as they develop a procedure to determine the types of items they may need in case of a natural disaster, calculate costs to stay within a budget, identify civic responsibility, and understand how state and federal governments work together to protect U.S. citizens in this model eliciting activity.

Model Eliciting Activities, MEAs, are open-ended, interdisciplinary problem-solving activities that are meant to reveal students’ thinking about the concepts embedded in realistic situations.  Click here to learn more about MEAs and how they can transform your classroom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Natural Disaster Dividing Fractions:

In this lesson, students will extend learning of dividing unit fractions and whole numbers within the context of governmental response to an emergency situation. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Who Are The People in Your Neighborhood? Finding Your Elected Officials:

In this lesson, students will use the U.S. Constitution and their web searching skills to determine the constitutional qualifications for office, term length, authority, duties, activities, compensation, and names of elected officials for Florida and their district.

Type: Lesson Plan

We Are the Jury: Interpreting the Laws:

In this lesson plan, teachers will assist students in explaining the role of the court system in interpreting laws. Students focus on interpreting a law being challenged as unconstitutional based on the First Amendment. Students will serve as U.S. Supreme Court justices and will determine whether the law should be allowed to stand or be struck down.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

The Verdict Is In: The U.S. Court System:

Explore the court system and the role it plays in interpreting law and settling conflicts in this interactive tutorial. Learn why the U.S. Supreme Court is the most powerful in the U.S. court system, and they'll explain why the United States and the State of Florida both have supreme courts.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

U.S. States and Capitals: Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota:

Learn to identify the locations and state capitals of five U.S. states: Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also learn why we have state capitals: because of federalism.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

U.S. States and Capitals: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana:

Learn to identify the locations and state capitals of five U.S. states: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana with this interactive tutorial. You'll also learn why we have state capitals: because of federalism.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Three Branches of Government:

Learn about the structure and functions of the three branches of the U.S. federal government, including the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches, with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

U.S. States and Capitals: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona:

Learn to identify the locations and state capitals of five U.S. states:  Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.  In this interactive tutorial, you'll also learn why we have state capitals: because of federalism.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights:

Learn about the history and background of the U.S. Constitution and how the Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguards our rights and liberties in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Presentation/Slideshow

Slideshow - The Three Branches of Government:

This PowerPoint slideshow is designed to support teachers in delivering direct instruction on the three branches of the federal government: the executive, the legislative, and the judicial branches. The accompanying guided notes can be completed by students during instruction.

Type: Presentation/Slideshow

Teaching Ideas

Grade 5 Civics Family Guide: Standard 3:

This Grade 5 Civics Family Guide provides some ideas and activities to support civics education when at home, out and about, and in the community. The activities provided align to the civics learning benchmarks within Standard 3 at this grade level.

Type: Teaching Idea

Who Are the People? Finding Your Elected Representative:

This PowerPoint slideshow is designed to support teachers in delivering direct instruction on Florida’s national representation, including determining the constitutional qualifications for office, term length, authority, duties, activities, compensation, and names of elected officials for Florida and their district. Students will also determine the best approach toward contacting elected officials. The accompanying guided notes can be completed by students during instruction.

Type: Teaching Idea

Video/Audio/Animation

Portraits in Patriotism - Mel Martinez: Elementary School:

Former U.S Senator and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Mel Martínez shares his journey to freedom in the United States. Mr. Martínez was part of Operation Pedro Pan in which unaccompanied Cuban children were sent to the United States to escape the newly formed communist regime of Fidel Castro. Before leaving Cuba, he spent time with his father who shared life lessons with his son. Mr. Martínez distinctly remembers the pilot announcing that they were in America. After moving around the state of Florida in settlement camps, Mr. Martínez was placed in foster care. After four years he and his family were reunited. Mr. Martínez helped his father become a veterinarian in the U.S and as a family they were highly active in the community. His family’s spirit of activism was the foundation of Mr. Martínez’s career as a public servant. He graduated from Florida State University Law School in 1973 and began his political career. He was appointed the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2001 and became a United States Senator in 2005.

Type: Video/Audio/Animation

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

The Verdict Is In: The U.S. Court System:

Explore the court system and the role it plays in interpreting law and settling conflicts in this interactive tutorial. Learn why the U.S. Supreme Court is the most powerful in the U.S. court system, and they'll explain why the United States and the State of Florida both have supreme courts.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

U.S. States and Capitals: Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota:

Learn to identify the locations and state capitals of five U.S. states: Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. In this interactive tutorial, you'll also learn why we have state capitals: because of federalism.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

U.S. States and Capitals: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana:

Learn to identify the locations and state capitals of five U.S. states: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana with this interactive tutorial. You'll also learn why we have state capitals: because of federalism.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The Three Branches of Government:

Learn about the structure and functions of the three branches of the U.S. federal government, including the legislative, the executive, and the judicial branches, with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

U.S. States and Capitals: Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona:

Learn to identify the locations and state capitals of five U.S. states:  Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.  In this interactive tutorial, you'll also learn why we have state capitals: because of federalism.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

The U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights:

Learn about the history and background of the U.S. Constitution and how the Constitution and Bill of Rights safeguards our rights and liberties in this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Teaching Idea

Grade 5 Civics Family Guide: Standard 3:

This Grade 5 Civics Family Guide provides some ideas and activities to support civics education when at home, out and about, and in the community. The activities provided align to the civics learning benchmarks within Standard 3 at this grade level.

Type: Teaching Idea