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Activity Overview

While the President holds the top role in the Executive Branch, there are other figures who play major roles within the branch. The president has a cabinet of advisers that lead various federal departments. As students are likely unaware of each department and how it operates, it can be helpful for them to research a few!

In this activity, students will create a spider map that explores the role of the president’s cabinet. For each department, students should include the title of the cabinet department, a representation of the cabinet’s role, and a description of thedepartment.

Students may choose from the following departments:

  • Agriculture
  • Commerce
  • Defense
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Health and Human Services
  • Homeland Security
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Interior
  • Justice
  • Labor
  • State
  • Transportation
  • Treasury
  • Veterans Affairs

Extended Activity

In this extended activity, students will create a spider map that represents specific cabinet secretaries throughout history and represent the effect they had on society. The spider map might include the entire span of American history, or a selected series of years. For each cabinet member selected, students will include a title with the name of the secretary, along with the years they served in office, a visual representation of a specific accomplishment of that secretary, and a description of their representation.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Group

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a spider map describing the roles of four executive departments.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify four executive departments.
  3. Write a summary of the department's role in the description boxes.
  4. Create an illustration using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.

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