When learning about how our government works, there are many aspects to consider. To help, Scholastic has launched We the People, a free online resource containing timely content from Scholastic Classroom Magazines including Scholastic News®, Junior Scholastic® and The New York Times UPFRONT®. Students can read about topics relating to civics and media literacy, with separate editions containing age-appropriate content for students in grades 4–6 and 7–10.
An article in the edition for students in grades 4–6 titled “The Three Branches of Government” outlines the roles of the legislative, executive and judicial branches with key pieces of information about each. The article also describes how each of the three branches operates and how they work together to govern our nation. Here are a few important facts from the article:
- The legislative branch makes laws. The legislative branch is Congress which is made up of two chambers: the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. There are 100 senators and 435 representatives. Congress writes, debates and passes bills. When bills are passed by Congress, and then signed by the President, they become law.
- The executive branch enforces federal laws. The executive branch is led by the President who can sign or veto bills passed by Congress. The president can also suggest laws for Congress to consider. The president often draws on advice from the vice president and the Cabinet.
- The judicial branch evaluates laws. The judicial branch is the federal court system which is headed by the U.S. Supreme Court with nine members called justices. There are also more than 100 federal courts throughout the United States.
To learn more about the three branches of government, and to access more civics content, visit We the People at: https://wethepeople.scholastic.com/