Students will learn about the structure, function, and powers of the legislative branch of government. They will explore the legislative process, as well as the influence of citizens and political parties.
Students learn why there are two houses of Congress and discover how a bicameral legislature ensures that all states have a voice in bills. Together, the class creates a school cell phone policy and experiments with different voting groups that demonstrate why the bicameral compromise was necessary. Students also examine how things might be different today if there were just a House or a Senate. (Recently Updated!)
Want to make some laws? You can in LawCraft, where you play a member of Congress from the state of your choice.
Students learn what factors members of Congress consider when deciding whether to vote for a bill. These include the powers given to Congress by the Constitution, members’ personal opinions, political party support, and what voters think. During the first day of the lesson, students find out about each of these factors. During the second day, students get to try their hand at weighing the factors by considering hypothetical bills. (If you’re short on time, it’s OK to teach just the first day’s lesson.)
In Represent Me!, you work as a legislator trying to meet the needs of your constituents.
Do you ever wish you could make the rules? Well, there are people whose job it is to make the rules for this country. These rules are called laws, and the people who make them are called Congress. In this activity, you'll get an introduction to your members of Congress and what they do. Maybe someday this will be you!