Before the Movie:

What do you think are the branches of the US Government? (Tap prior knowledge)

Why might it be important to divide the power among the government’s three branches? (Make inferences

During the Movie (Pause Points):

Stop at the following times in the movie and ask questions or prompt a discussion to keep students focused and to assess their understanding before moving on:

Timecode 1:35: How are the House of Representatives and Senate alike? How do they differ?  (Compare/contrast)

Timecode 2:10: What role does the Cabinet play in the Executive Branch? How does the President’s veto work, and what ultimate power does the Supreme Court have over new laws? (Summarize)

Timecode 2:50: What does it mean to veto a bill? How can Congress override a veto? What effect can the Supreme Court ultimately have on the law?  (Apply new knowledge)

After the Movie:

Look at the four related movies at the bottom of the page. Explain how each is connected to the Branches of Government topic. (Make connections)

How does separation of power among the three branches of government ensure checks and balances? (Apply new knowledge)

Why might it be dangerous for one branch of government to have too much power? (Reflect)

BrainPOP recommends reading the movie description that appears on the Branches of Government Topic Page to your class or have students read independently. Then have them watch the movie once through without pausing. Then, watch it again as class, this time using the discussion prompts.

*BrainPOP’s Discussion Questions and Prompts align to CCSS Speaking and Listening Standards.