Presidential Powers and Their Limits

Lesson Duration

By JoEllen Ambrose – Insights on Law & Society 17.1, Fall 2016

This lesson offers several instructional strategies enabling students to examine more closely presidential powers and their limits. This lesson builds on familiarity with the executive branch, language in Article II of the Constitution, and roles of president, Cabinet departments and bureaucracy. The three instructional strategies ask students to read, write, and speak on the topic.

Strategy ONE: Reading for Evidence
Identify evidence from the reading, How Presidents Interpret the Constitution by Harold H. Bruff (pages 8 – 12), to support claims for presidential powers

Strategy TWO: Writing a Memo
Analyze presidential powers, responsibilities and limits by writing a memo advising President #45 on how to meet the challenges of acting as a foreign policy leader, commander in chief, and chief executive; and

Strategy THREE: Presidential Power “Snap Debate”
Examine the scope and limits of presidential powers by participating in a class presidential power snap debate.

See pages 13 – 15.





A magazine for teachers of civics, government, history, and law, Insights on Law & Society is a publication of the American Bar Association.