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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

The Executive Branch

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings American Government to life with comics and storyboards.

Make American Government come to life with comics!

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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map
  • Comic Strip
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

Pixton Lesson Plan on The Executive Branch
Pixton Lesson Plan on The Executive Branch
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings American Government to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

The Executive Branch

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Boat
    Boat
  • Building
    Building
  • Desk
    Desk
  • Flag
    Flag
  • Globe
    Globe
  • Mic
    Mic
  • Painting
    Painting
  • Paper
    Paper
  • Pen
    Pen
  • Podium
    Podium
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

The Executive Branch

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

The American Government has three branches to make sure no one person gets too much power: The Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branch. The Legislative Branch (Congress) creates laws. The Executive Branch (The President) carries out laws. The Judicial Branch (Court System) interprets the law.

Opening Discussion

  • The Executive Branch carries out the laws. It is run by the President, the Vice President, the Executive Office and the Cabinet.
  • The President is the leader of the Executive Branch, the head of state and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for keeping peace with other countries and signing treaties. The President has the power to approve new laws made by Congress or veto (disagree with) them. If the President vetoes a law, Congress can still make the law if two-thirds vote to do so. The President must be at least 35 years old, be a natural born US Citizen, and have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. The President and Family live in the White House in Washington DC. To make sure the President doesn’t get too much power, they can only serve for two four-year terms.
  • The Vice President advises the President and must take over if something happens to the President.
  • The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of the President's closest advisers who help the President be effective and efficient with daily decisions and responsibilities. It includes the White House Communications and Press Secretary. EOP staff are appointed by the Chief of Staff, and do not require senate approval. The EOP is divided into the following offices:

    • Council of Economic Advisers
    • Council on Environmental Quality
    • Executive Residence
    • National Security Council
    • Office of Administration
    • Office of Management and Budget
    • Office of National Drug Control Policy
    • Office of Science and Technology Policy
    • Office of the United States Trade Representative
    • Office of the Vice President
    • White House Office
  • The Cabinet is made of the leaders of 15 different departments, each titled The Departments of...

    • Agricultural
    • Commerce
    • Defense
    • Education
    • Energy
    • Health and Human Services
    • Homeland Security
    • Housing and Urban Development
    • The Interior
    • Justice
    • Labor
    • State
    • Transportation
    • Treasury
    • Veteran's Affairs
  • Federal Agencies: Many independent agencies help enforce the laws of the federal government. The President appoints their leaders. The Senate must approve each appointment. These leaders are sometimes part of the President’s Cabinet.
    • The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
    • The Commodity Futures Trading Commission
    • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
    • The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
    • The Federal Communications Commission
    • The Federal Election Commission
    • The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
    • The Federal Maritime Commission
    • The Federal Reserve Board of Governors
    • The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board
    • The Federal Trade Commission
    • The General Services Administration
    • The International Trade Commission
    • The National Archives and Records Administration
    • The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
    • The National Labor Relations Board
    • The National Security Agency (NSA)
    • The National Transportation Safety Board
    • The Nuclear Regulatory Commission
    • The National Science Foundation
    • The Postal Regulatory Commission
    • The Securities and Exchange Commission
    • The Selective Service System
    • The Small Business Administration
    • The Social Security Administration
    • The Surface Transportation Board
    • The United States Postal Service (USPS)
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    The President of the United States

    Complete after opening discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard or Mind Map
    The Executive Office of the President

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Make a Comic Strip or Storyboard
    The Cabinet

    Complete after class discussion.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Poster detailing a job description for the Presidency. Include the duties and responsibilities of the Executive Branch.

  • Extension / Modification
    Storyboard (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Storyboard illustrating the role of at least five independent federal agencies.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • Who can become President and for how long?
  • What is the purpose of the EOP?
  • What is the purpose of the Cabinet?
  • What is the purpose of Federal Agencies?
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Pixton Activity: The Executive Branch 1 The President of the United States

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

The President is the leader of the Executive Branch, the head of state and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. The President is responsible for keeping peace with other countries and signing treaties. The President has the power to approve new laws made by Congress or veto (disagree with) them. If the President vetoes a law, Congress can still make the law if two-thirds vote to do so. The President must be at least 35 years old, be a natural born US Citizen, and have lived in the United States for at least 14 years. The President and Family live in the White House in Washington DC. To make sure the President doesn’t get too much power, they can only serve for two four-year terms.

Instructions

Create a Mind Map or Storyboard to describe the Presidential requirements and responsibilities:

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Write a detailed description of the Presidential requirements.
  • Write a detailed description of the Presidential responsibilities (one panel for each).
  • Include an appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Executive Branch 2 The Executive Office of the President

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard
  • Mind Map

Intro

The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of the President's closest advisers who help the President be effective and efficient with daily decisions and responsibilities. It includes the White House Communications and Press Secretary. EOP staff are appointed by the Chief of Staff, and do not require senate approval.

The Executive Office of the President is divided into the following offices:

  • Council of Economic Advisers
  • Council on Environmental Quality
  • Executive Residence
  • National Security Council
  • Office of Administration
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Office of the United States Trade Representative
  • Office of the Vice President
  • White House Office

Instructions

Create a Mind Map or Storyboard to illustrate at least six of the functions of the Executive Office of the President (EOP):

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Write a detailed description.
  • Include appropriate illustrations and dialogue for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Executive Branch 3 The Cabinet

Featured Layouts

  • Comic Strip
  • Storyboard

Intro

The Cabinet is made of the leaders of 15 different departments, each titled, The Department of...

  • Agricultural
  • Commerce
  • Defense
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Health and Human Services
  • Homeland Security
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • The Interior
  • Justice
  • Labor
  • State
  • Transportation
  • Treasury
  • Veteran's Affairs

Instructions

Create a Comic Strip or Storyboard to illustrate every Cabinet Department:

  • Include an appropriate title for each panel.
  • Include appropriate illustration for each panel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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