The Legislative Branch

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.

Check out this quick video about the Legislative Branch on YouTube!

Choose Grade Level:

  • Lesson Plan

    Leadership & the Agenda (Infographics)

    Members in the House and Senate decide who will take on important leadership roles. In these printable infographics, teach students about how party leaders shape the congressional agenda. Separate infographics are provided for the House of Representatives and the Senate, and they can be combined for students to compare and contrast!Looking for more? Pair these infographics with our mini-lesson on Congressional Leadership.  
  • Video

    Patsy Mink: Changing the Rules

    In this video, students learn about the life of Patsy Takemoto Mink who became the first woman of color elected to Congress. In her 24 years as a Representative, Mink battled inequality by changing the laws. Her greatest legacy is as the co-author of Title IX, the landmark legislation that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs that receive federal money.
  • Lesson Plan

    Mini-Lesson: Congressional Leadership

    How are leaders in Congress elected and organized? In this short mini-lesson, students learn about Congress' leadership positions and the primary duties of each one. Students will also think through how to creatively represent the leadership structure in diagram form. Looking for more? Follow this mini-lesson with our visual infographic Leadership & the Agenda!
  • Lesson Plan

    Can You BILL-ieve It? (Infographic)

    How does a bill become a law? Follow this decision tree through the life and death of a bill in Congress.
  • Lesson Plan

    Gerrymandering (Infographic)

    Where do we draw the line? Find out how redistricting turns into gerrymandering, and how gerrymandering negatively impacts people in those districts.
  • Lesson Plan

    LawCraft Extension Pack

    Make your students’ game play more meaningful by using our activity and assessment set designed specifically for LawCraft. This easy-to-use Extension Pack helps you give context and purpose to the game, as well as reinforce and assess the game concepts. That means deeper learning for students, and best practices around game-centered learning for you!  This Extension Pack uses a Google Slides deck and is designed for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards. 
  • Lesson Plan

    Congress in a Flash!

    Need to teach the legislative branch in a hurry? This lesson is designed to cover the basics in a single class period. Students learn what Congress is, what the Constitution says about the legislative branch, and how a bill becomes law. They analyze some actual language from the Constitution, compare the House and the Senate, and simulate the lawmaking process by reconciling two versions of the same fictional bill.Got a 1:1 classroom? Download fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials below!
  • WebQuest

    Who Represents Me?

    Do you know who represents you in the federal, state and local government? Do you know how to get in touch with them? Follow this WebQuest to find answers to these questions and more!
  • Lesson Plan

    Voting In Congress

    How do members of Congress decide whether to vote yea or nay on a bill? In this lesson, students learn what factors members of Congress consider when deciding whether to vote for a bill, including the powers given to Congress by the Constitution, what a member's constituents want, his or her political party's position, and the member's personal views. Students simulate the decision making process using hypothetical bills based on real-life issues.** If you're looking for the older version of this lesson, please contact the help desk.
  • Lesson Plan

    Why Do We Have A House And Senate, Anyway?

    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. Got a 1:1 classroom? Find fillable PDF versions of this lesson's materials here.