The Role of the Executive Branch in Policy Making

Although the president of the United States does not have the power to pass laws, they can propose legislation, veto bills passed by Congress, and issue executive orders that bypass Congress. Six video clips show middle schoolers these and other powers the president has in creating and influencing policy. To demonstrate their understanding of the president's various roles, learners complete a matching exercise, and as an exit ticket, craft a short paragraph identifying what they believe is the most effective way for a president to influence policy.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Introduce the topic of the role of the executive branch in policy making  by showing the video clip on the history of executive orders (Clip 6)
  • Divide the class into five groups, ask each group to investigate one of the ways the current president has used to influence policy, and have groups report their finding to the class
Classroom Considerations
  • The clips feature Presidents George W. Bush, Clinton, Obama, and Trump
  • Each of the clips requires instructors to provide some background information so that young viewers can understand the context of the situation
  • The drag and drop activity requires access to Google Slide
  • The resource includes a vocabulary preview, a worksheet, and a drag and drop activity
  • None