A pretzel is used to illustrate the interconnectedness yet separation of the three branches of government. This image can easily be inserted into a Powerpoint lecture. The uniqueness of the visual aids retention of the separation of powers.
Though the thumbnail doesn't show each section of the pretzel is labeled and labels indicate the interconnectedness of the branches and the checks and balances each branch has on the other.
Extension: I bring in a bag of the larger pretzels and as a discussion activity starter, I have the students nibble off the corresponding branch they would be most willing to sacrifice. Then I take a poll. After that, I arrange students in groups of 3, one for each branch eliminated. Each must then summarize to the two other partners the duties of that branch, and why that branch should/could be eliminated. Then together the group predicts what problems would emerge. From there it is easy for students understand that even a branch abdicating its power to another branch can cause great havoc. Then I bring in current events which illustrate a branch enlarging its powers at the expense of the abdicating branch. Right now, there are many (too many) examples of the executive branch expanding its powers b/c of the abdication by Congress of its powers, all the appointed 40+ czars answerable to no one but the president, for example.