Three Branches of Government Poster
Lesson #8063


Create a poster depicting the three branches of government.


Help students recognize the three branches of government and their individual roles in the balance of political power and administration.

Recommended Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

Curriculum: Social Studies

Social Studies: Power, Authority and Governance

Pre-K-12: Standard 6

  • Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance. Understanding the historical development of structures of power, authority, and governance and their evolving functions in contemporary U.S. society, as well as in other parts of the world, is essential for developing civic competence.

National Council for the Social Studies, Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (Washington, D.C.: NCSS, 1994). This book may be purchased by calling 800-683-0812. Electronic copies of it are not available.

Source: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies

Design a creative poster to symbolically represent the branches of government. Portray any concept creatively with die-cuts to meet curriculum needs.

Figure A
Figure B
Figure C
Figure D
Figure E
Figure F

Note: This project can also be created with the Bald Eagle, Flag #1 and Liberty Bell (see Image 2).

Supplies Used: Animal Print Fur, Black Marking Pen, Black Poster Board, Cardstock, Colored Pens, Craft Knife, Double-Sided Tape, Glue, Paper Cutter, Scissors, Silver Paper, Tape

The teacher will die-cut the materials for student use prior to the lesson.

Tree - Three Branches of Government

  1. Using brown cardstock or construction paper, die-cut XL 3-Part Bare Tree. Center and adhere the Tree trunk to a piece of black poster board at least 19" wide and 20" tall using glue, double-sided tape or other adhesive (Figure A). Lay two Tree branches where they will go, but do not glue down at this time.
  2. Die-cut 7 XL Clouds from two shades of green cardstock or construction paper. Arrange these around the Tree branches as foliage, but do not glue down at this time (Figure B).
  3. Die-cut 2 each of the LG White House, the LG U. S. Capitol Dome and the LG Greek Ruins from beige and cream colored paper. Adhere a light silver gray piece of paper behind each of the building to fill the openings (Figure C).

White House - Executive Branch

  1. Leave the beige White House whole. Use a black marking pen to color the beige flagpole black.
  2. Cut the cream colored White House along the perforated lines leaving only the roof and the front portico. Set the flag aside to use later. Adhere the roof and portico onto the cream White House (Figure D).
  3. Using the cream colored flag, cut the flagpole off, leaving the flag only. Use marking pens to color the flag red, white and blue. Adhere the completed flag to the black flagpole.

U. S. Capitol Dome - Legislative Branch

  1. Leave the beige Capitol Dome whole.
  2. Cut the cream colored Dome along the perforated lines creating three highlighted areas. Adhere these pieces to the beige Capitol Dome.

Greek Ruins - Judicial Branch

  1. Leave the beige Greek Ruins whole.
  2. Cut the cream colored Ruins along the perforated line to create a roof. Attach the roof to the beige Ruins.
  3. Using a craft knife or a paper cutter, cut the remaining piece of the cream colored Greek Ruins diagonally from the bottom of the pillars to the top (Figure E). Attach the lower piece over the beige Greek Ruins.

Assembly of Poster

  1. Computer print "The Three Branches of Government" on a piece of red paper so the words will fit within the XL Banner. Align the words on the die and cut.
  2. A second XL Banner may be cut from a darker red, if desired. Leave the darker Banner whole and cut the printed Banner along the four perforated lines (Figure F). Cut the bottom furls away also. Adhere the lighter red pieces on the darker Banner.
  3. Computer print the words "Executive", "Legislative" and "Judicial" on red paper. Use a paper cutter or scissors to cut strips approximately 1/2" high and just longer than the printed words.
  4. Adhere the green Clouds (foliage) that are behind the Branches first.
  5. Tuck the three buildings where they should go and adhere the Branches in place, securing buildings behind the limbs as desired. Attach the clouds in front of the Branches.
  6. Adhere the red Banner and the titles of government in place (see Main Photo).