The President's Cabinet

The President's Cabinet

Course(s)/Subject(s):Social Studies/Civics

Grade Level(s):8

Key Words:Social Studies, Technology, President's Cabinet

Developer(s) Name:Janice Crews

School:Carl Sandburg

Approximate Time Frame:one day of class time

Materials/Equipment Needed: create templates, computer for each student with Internet, printer

Description of Lesson (includes context):
In our examination of the Executive Branch, students learned the importance of the President's Cabinet, each Cabinet member is the head of one of the fourteen executive departments . For extra credit on the test for the Executive Branch, students may list the Secretaries, one point given for each correct Department Secretary. The information about each Department will also be shared in class prior to the test to facilitate understanding of the complexities of the Executive Branch. In order to obtain this information, students will go to the computer lab where they will pull up templates, connect with the Internet (bookmarked sites), and explore the Departments that comprise the Cabinet and put one Department on each template. They will then read through the information on each Department and put one important fact on each template along with the name of the Secretary for that Department.


  1. What is the objective of this lesson?

FCPS POS Standards:
8.2Students will know, understand, and explain the importance of the political and
civic beliefs, values, and principles that support and maintain American
constitutional government and the workings of their own and other governments.


Students will conduct inquiries and research to demonstrate knowledge and

understanding of civics, economics, and geography.

FCPS POS Benchmarks:
8.2.1Students will be able to identify and explain the purpose, organization, and
powers of government in the United States.

8.5.2Students will be able to organize information in a variety of forms.


Students will be able to analyze information.


Students will be able to communicate orally.

FCPS POS Indicators:


Explain the functions of, and the interactions between, the executive, legislative

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and judicial branches at each level.


Arrange information using different methods such as notes, timelines, maps,

charts, tables, graphs, graphic organizers, databases, and spreadsheets.

8.5.3.bDistinguish between relevant and irrelevant information.

8.5.3.dParaphrase information.


Determine the purpose, audience, and format for speaking, working individually

or in groups.

8.5.6.bDemonstrate effective oral communication skills.


Communicate knowledge and understanding through individual and group



Communicate knowledge and understanding through participation in small and

large group discussions, simulations, role plays, debates, and Socratic dialogues.

VA SOL(s) (including Computer/Technology):HSS7.2, HSS7.4, C/T8.1,


C/T8.3, C/T8.4


  1. What will we examine as evidence of students' knowledge and/or skill?

Product(s): Print out of the President's Cabinet.

Performance(s): Students will share information about the 14 Departments with classmates.



  1. What exactly will the students and teacher do during the lesson? There are 14 templates, one for each Cabinet member, students will go to the Internet and look up each Cabinet secretary and put one Secretary in each template. They will also enter one interesting fact about the Department and the Secretary of that Department.

Directions to students for proceeding with the lesson:

  1. Students will pull up the file with the 14 templates, save it to their desktop, then
    connect to the Internet using appropriate bookmarks. There they will find the 14
    Departments that make up the President's Cabinet.
  2. They will download the picture of each Department's Secretary to one of the templates.
  3. They will read about each Department and add at least one fact about the Department to
    the appropriate template.
  4. They will add the name of the Secretary to the appropriate template.
  5. When they have completed all 14 Cabinet positions, they will print out their information

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to use in a classroom discussion of the Cabinet and also for use as extra credit on the test for the Executive Branch.

Directions to teacher/administrator using the lesson?

  1. In the computer lab, students will pull up templates, go to the Internet
    ( http://www.ajkids. or other bookmarks, for example) and find the President's
  2. Students will download the picture of each Secretary, one for each template.
  3. They will then read about each Department, find one interesting fact , include that on
    template as well as the Secretary for that Department.
  4. When students have completed all 14 Cabinet Departments, they will print their


  1. What options in presentation(s) and/or response(s) are suggested in order to provide the opportunity for all students to demonstrate achievement of the benchmark(s) and indicators.

Instead of presenting information orally, students turn in a poster with all the appropriate

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