In this activity students will analyze documents that span the course of American history to see examples of "checks and balances" between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches in action. Students will then match the documents they have examined with an appropriate description of the branches of government involved in the action.
Article 2 Executive Branch
The Executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America.
For many students, a trip to Washington, D.C. is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that opens their eyes to an exciting world beyond their classrooms. Discovery Education and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden welcome students to a behind-the-scenes Virtual Field Trip to experience the history and beauty of our nation’s capital.
Designed for students in grades 4-8, this action-packed tour features remarkable special guests and give viewers an inside look at six landmark locations:
The White House
The U.S. Capitol Building
The Supreme Court
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Arlington National Cemetery and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
In this activity students will analyze the Senate Journal of the First Congress and identify how the document demonstrates content contained within Article II of the Constitution in action.
This activity is designed to prepare students for the Constitution-in-Action Lab at the National Archives in Washington, DC. It is a part of a package of activities associated with the lab experience.
An inauguration is the act or ceremony of bringing someone into a position or an office. Every president of the United States has been inaugurated, dating back to the first executive, George Washington. These inaugurations symbolize a peaceful transition of power between administrations. Although the Constitution provides an oath for the new president to take, all other elements of the modern presidential inauguration grew from traditions, changes, and preferences that evolved over 200 years. As the president's residence, the White House plays an important role in inaugurations. Gain a deeper appreciation of presidential inaugurations and transitions at the White House by learning about the history behind the Oath of Office, inaugural parade, parties, and more.
Learn about George Washington's creation of the cabinet, an advisory group for the President of the United States of America, and the cabinet's place in White House history. Featuring Dr. Lindsay Chervinsky, historian at the White House Historical Association and author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution (available April 2020).
The White House is a stage for the peaceful transfer of power from one administration to the next. Discover how the transfer from John Adams to Thomas Jefferson set this precedent. Featuring Dr. Matthew Costello, Senior Historian at the White House Historical Association.
What exactly does the president do in the White House? Most citizens understand that the President of the United States is the leader of the country, but they may not be able to explain all the duties and powers that come with that position. The Constitution specifically lists several presidential responsibilities. Other presidential roles have developed as our country has grown and changed. Learn about the requirements to become president and how the president carries out some of the major duties of this important position, as well as some historic examples.
Welcome to the White House 360 Virtual Tour! This immersive experience will bring you inside the halls of the White House and provide access to all the public rooms on the Ground and State Floors. It will also allow you to examine the rooms and objects even closer than you would in person.
This feature was made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.
The president of the United States serves as the chief executive and commander of the armed forces, all defined in Article II of the Constitution as the executive branch. Join a group of middle schoolers on a tour of Washington, D.C. as they learn about the Constitution and what it means to be "We the People." The "We the People" videos are produced in collaboration with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society.
Recording of Day 1 of the Three Branches Institute, featuring a condensed version of WHHA's "White House 101" lecture, exploration of WHHA's 360 Virtual Tour of the White House, and some discussion.
Please note that there will be "dead air" during the mid program break as well as the second half breakout rooms.
White House 101: Over 200 Years of the Executive Mansion
This PDF contains copies of the slides used by the White House Historical Association's K-12 Education staff during their White House 101 lecture during Day 1 of the 2021 Three Branches Institute. A link to a video recording of this session is also available on the Hub.
Join White House Historical Association historians Dr. Matthew Costello and Lina Mann as they tour the history of the White House in this collection of short videos, made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring human endeavor.
Ever since John and Abigail Adams moved into the President's House in 1800, hundreds of individuals have worked behind the scenes to help the White House fulfill its roles as a home, office, and museum. White House staff serve the many needs of the first family in a variety of occupations. They prepare family meals, serve elaborate State Dinners, maintain the grounds, and much more. There is no such thing as a "typical" day in the White House. Explore the dedication and skills of the residence staff, their cohesion as a community, their special relationship with the first family, and their experiences as witnesses to the nation's history.