If you think about kids sharing a new toy, there is usually some type of conflict. For instance, both want the toy, but there is only one, so they must share. This disagreement leads to arguing, fighting, and tears. Honestly, this same situation can occur within the US Government. If two branches want control over the same issue, it can lead to a mountain of problems. Thankfully, our founders understood that and helped create the system of checks and balances. This critical system helps maintain a healthy and functioning democracy. Students can learn about it with the Checks and Balances Lesson and Principles of the Constitution Lesson!

Checks and Balances

What is the Checks and Balances System?

The checks and balances system is built into the Constitution. It ensures that each branch of government does not become too powerful or abuse its power. Additionally, it allows each branch to check the power of the other branches. For example, the President can veto legislation passed by Congress, but Congress can override this with a two-thirds majority vote. Ultimately, the system fosters cooperation and compromise within the branches, leading to thoughtful and well-rounded decisions. 

Checks and Balances Lesson

Students must learn how the checks and balances system works in government. Luckily, this lesson includes everything students need to help them understand this balance of power. 

Students will begin by learning Federalist 10. James Madison wrote this document about the essential need for a system to balance power within the US Constitution. Additionally, there are checks and balances in tweets with questions. Students always love this activity! They read tweets from influential leaders about situations dealing with different branches of government. Then, they reflect on how the checks and balances system ensures no single branch gains too much power. Students will continue their learning by understanding the US Constitution and how it protects our democracy. 

Since teachers have so much to do, the resource includes video links, lesson plans, and answer keys. Teachers can also edit the resource to fit their classroom’s needs! 

Principles of the Constitution Lesson 

There are many unfamiliar words when learning about the Constitution. If students do not understand the vocabulary, they will not be able to understand the true meaning. So, this resource ensures that students dive deeper into essential terms and concepts within the government. 

Students will learn about essential terms, such as checks and balances, popular sovereignty, federalism, and separation of powers. After understanding what it is, they will explore why it is essential. Honestly, this resource is an incredible way to ensure students understand key terms as they dive into the Constitution.

The principle of checks and balances plays a critical role in a democratic system of government. It ensures that power is not within the hands of one individual or branch of government. Thankfully, students learn all about this with the lessons on the Checks and Balances and Principles of the Constitution! Both resources help them understand the essential need to maintain a healthy democracy.

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