Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Government and Civics Lapbook

We're back at it with lapbooks! After last year's very successful venture with lapbooks during our WWII unit, I have decided to try to integrate it more in all (or most) of our Social Studies units this year. Our very first unit is Government and Civics so we jumped into lapbooks right away! Today is our unit test and I'm anxious to see how we did!
According to the Tennessee standards the students are to identify and explain each of the three parts of the constitution; the preamble, the articles, and the Bill of Rights. Within each section students should understand the purposes, the branches of government, the levels of government (local, state, federal) and their individual responsibilities. We will be adding amendments to the pocket on the right as we progress through American history. By the end of the year we'll have amendments 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 21, and 25 (in addition to the Bill of Rights).

We examined the preamble and then dissected what the preamble tells us about the constitution. We used dictionaries, thesauruses, and prior knowledge to help make it more meaningful. 
How a bill becomes a law
We of course watched the School House Rock song, but we learned more in depth about the process. To incorporate writing we worked on persuasive writing and wrote letters to our congressperson about ideas we had to make East Tennessee/Johnson City a better place. We wrote the process out like a timeline. 

Branches of the Government
This is a pretty straight forward flipbook. The only modification I made was to have them split the legislative door into two parts (senate and house of representatives).

Another focus of Tennessee standards is to analyze how the state government was set up to mirror the federal government. We did this through examining the two constitutions and looking for similarities and differences.

Levels of Government
The circles were made using a cardstock stencil that I made and the students can cut and assemble with a brad. I like how they interlock with each other to show smallest to largest and how the local government must still work within the state government's constitution (etc). 
The Bill of Rights
I'd mentioned on a previous post how we go about learning the Bill of Rights. This is the flip book that we made to keep the information in our lapbooks. I traced the alphabetical organizer cards from an index card box and then made lines and numbered them. The students then just had to cut them out and assemble to prepare to write down the information. 


This pocket will be used for the additional amendments we learn about as we progress through American History! 

I hope you see something that you might be able to take away and try in your classroom! Although some of this is specific to Tennessee I'm sure there are parallel lessons that could be done for any state. 

Mrs. J

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  1. I'm one of you followers. I just love your blog. Do you have printable for the preamble foldable?

  2. I love your lapbook for Government/Civics. I too teach 5th here in TN and I plan on trying this with my students when we start our study of it next week. What do you use as the lapbook? Thanks!

  3. @Caroline- If you shoot me an e-mail I can send it to you. My e-mail is janaitis@etsu.edu. I can't figure out how to attach documents to my blog yet...

    @Vickie- Hi fellow TN teacher! I use a colorful file folder for the base of the lapbook. If you open it flat and then bring the sides in to meet at the middle crease it makes the bi-fold doors.

    1. Good day,

      I just came across your blog and was wondering if you could email me the attachments you have for this civics lapbook. I tried to find your email but couldn't find it. Please let me know if you wouldn't mind sharing this information with me. Thank you so much. Regards.

  4. I am a fellow 5th grade self-contained teacher also. It would be great to do a group somewhere where we could share ideas and printables. Any ideas? May I use your email and ask for the preamble foldable and any other docs you have to go with this lap book. We are doing this unit now so I would love to use this with them! :)

  5. I tried to email you to see if I could get a copy of the printables to this lapbook but the email address was not complete. My email is brandyischy@att.net My daughter is going to the capitol next week for 4h and I thought this could get her started. Thank you.

  6. I am a homeschool mom and we use purchased lap books in our history, and our science classes. I would love permission to use your lap book in my civics unit with my son,my niece and my two nephews. If you would grant us the permission, please send the printables to me at kjsluvsmbs@yahoo.com

    Thanks in advance, ;)

  7. What a wonderful resource! I, too, would love your printables. If it is okay, I will e-mail you with a request. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!

  8. I teach fifth grade in East Tennessee too. I love this idea for covering Government. Could you please email me a copy your printables? My email is guiderg@monroe.k12.tn.us.


  9. Could you share the templates for your Civics and WWll Lap books?
    Thank you so much.

  10. As a fellow fifth grade teacher, I too would love any information you can share on your Lap books. We are currently studying our Civics unit and will soon be studying WWI and II. Thanks in advance for sharing your great ideas.


  11. I would love a copy of the templates if they are still available. cigarroay@jcschools.org

  12. I am moving from 1st back to 3rd and the teachers do interactive notebooks. Some of the printables in your lapbook would be perfect for our notebooks. Could you send me copies? My email is lizf38@aol.com. Thanks! Susan Ferguson

  13. I would love a copy. I teach 5th grade as well. My email is mwhitten@mail.kana.k12.wv.us. Thank you

  14. Hello, I love the foldable. I teach SPED in high school and my students are really struggling with government. I would love a copy of the foldable. Thanks.

  15. This foldable is amazing. I teach 5th grade in Oregon. It seems as if many people asked for copies of the templates you used. Is there a possibility you would email me the templates for the Bill of Rights/Civics lapbook? Thank yoU!