3rd Unit – Early Government and the Constitution (November/December)

TeacherStacy Gregorski
Subject AreaCivics
Grade Level7th Grade
Week #November/December
Unit of InstructionEarly Government and the Constitution
Standard(s) Taught

Curriculum Standards


*Interpret the intentions of the Preamble of the Constitution.


*Describe how the Constitution limits the powers of government through separation of powers and checks and balances.


*Explain the viewpoints of the Federalists and the Anti-Federalists regarding the ratification of the Constitution and inclusion of a bill of rights.


*Define the rule of law and recognize its influence on the development of the American legal, political, and governmental systems.


****Illustrate the structure and function (three branches of government established in Articles I, II, and III with corresponding powers) of government in the United States as established in the Constitution.


****Analyze the structure, functions, and processes of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches.


*Civics EOC Category 1      **Civics EOC Category 2     ***Civics EOC Category 3     ****Civics EOC Category 4

Learning Targets and Learning Criteria
  • Explain how the Preamble serves as an introduction to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Identify six goals and purposes set forth in the Preamble (i.e. form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity).
  • Recognize the intention of the phrase “We the People”.
  • Identify and define the Constitutional principles: limited government, popular sovereignty, separation of powers, checks and balances, federalism and rule of law.
  • Recognize examples of separation of powers and checks and balances.
  • Recognize the Anti-Federalists’ reasons for the inclusion of a bill of rights in the U.S. Constitution.
  • Recognize the Federalists’ reasons for a stronger, central government. 
  • Identify examples and non-examples of rule of law.
  • Understand the importance of rule of law in protecting citizens from abuse of power 
  • Compare the roles and responsibilities of the three branches of the federal government.
  • Identify the general powers described in Articles I, II, and III of the U.S. Constitution.
  • Examine the following processes of the legislative branch: How a bill becomes a law, appointment confirmation, impeachment (United States v. Nixon), committee selection
  • Examine the following processes of the executive branch: Executive order, veto, appointments.
  • Examine the following processes of the judicial branch: Judicial review (Marbury v. Madison (1803), court order, writ of certiorari, summary judgment.
Classroom Activities

Daily Bell Ringer – Students are required to record their answers for daily critical thinking questions in their bell ringer notebooks (either a spiral notebook kept in class or a section kept in a student’s binder).

Daily Instruction – Students are required to participate in daily instruction, which can include PowerPoint presentations, group discussions, think-pair-shares, real-world simulations, formative assignments, and note taking.

Assignments Due

Almost all work is done in class.  Although students do not receive separate assignments to be done at home, they are still expected to take home any incomplete classwork, as well as study for unit summatives.

Additional Resources



iCivics Games



National Constitution Center