teaching resource

U.S. Branches of Government Sorting Activity

Teach Starter Publishing
Google Slide, PDF | 6 pages | Grades: 1 - 3

Learn about the branches of the U.S. government, each branch's responsibilities and those that are involved in each branch using a sorting activity.

How to Teach Government in Elementary School…That is the Question…

No matter how you slice it, the United States government is a difficult concept to cover with young learners. Identifying who does what, who is involved, and how it all works is confusing! Congress, the Supreme Court and other high courts, state governments, and many other political actors make up the U.S. government’s vast branches. Learning about their roles can be a lot to take in. This resource is designed to help your learners discover:

  • What are the three branches of government?
  • Which branch of government makes laws?
  • What branch of government declares war?
  • What branch of government vetoes bills?
  • And more!

This activity is perfect for helping students study the three branches of government, who is involved, and their responsibilities. The Three Branches of Government Sorting Activity includes 18 cards and three sorting headers (Legislative, Executive, and Judicial). Students will match each card with the appropriate branch that it matches. Great for assessing the students’ mastery!

Tips for Differentiation + Scaffolding 

A team of dedicated, experienced educators created this resource to support your Social Studies lessons. 

In addition to individual student work time, use this sorting activity to enhance learning through guided reading groups, whole class lessons, or remote learning assignments. 

If you have a mixture of above and below-level learners, check out these suggestions for keeping students on track with the concepts: 

🆘 Support Struggling Students

Help students who need help understanding the concepts by 

  • Completing the activity as a whole group or in a small group session.
  • Provide students with a Branches of Government anchor chart or reference sheet to use during the completion of the activity.

➕ Challenge Fast Finishers

  • Have students make an anchor chart or slide presentation about the different branches of government.
  • Have students turn their learning into an infographic or research project.

🧑‍🏫 Group Lesson (or Other Activity)

  • Complete the sort together underneath a document camera and discuss the concepts during the lesson.

Plan lessons for more U.S. government topics with our President’s Day Ideas!

Easily Prepare This Resource for Your Students

Use the dropdown icon on the Download button to choose between the color or blackline versions of the resource.

Print on cardstock for added durability and longevity. Place all pieces in a folder or large envelope for easy access. 


This resource was created by Lindsey, a teacher in Michigan and Teach Starter Collaborator. 

Don’t stop there! We’ve got more activities and resources that cut down on lesson planning time:  

Image of Government Services Sort

teaching resource

Government Services Sort

Provide students with practice identifying services provided by the government.

Teach Starter Publishing6 pagesGrades: 1 - 3
Image of Levels of Government-Responsibilities Sort

teaching resource

Levels of Government-Responsibilities Sort

Classify 12 duties by whether they are performed at the national, state, or local level of government.

Teach Starter Publishing1 pageGrades: 3 - 6
Image of George Washington Printable Book

teaching resource

George Washington Printable Book

Read and learn about the father of our country, George Washington, with a printable reader and activity book.

Teach Starter Publishing4 pagesGrades: 2 - 5

0 Comments

Write a review to help other teachers and parents like yourself. If you'd like to request a change to this resource, or report an error, select the corresponding tab above.

Login to comment