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! 


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!


Making Laws

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 members of Congress. In this WebQuest, you'll get an introduction to your members of Congress and what they do. Maybe someday this will be you! 


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. 


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.


Represent Me!
Play Time: 0-15 mins
Balance the diverse needs of your constituents as you plan bills to sponsor in Congress.

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!

LawCraft
Play Time: 15-30 mins
Choose a state to represent and jump into the law making process of Congress.

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!  

Extension Packs require PowerPoint and are designed for use with projectors or interactive whiteboards. 


Branches of Power
Play Time: 30+ mins
See the bigger picture and control all three branches of government!

The Louisiana Purchase: Branching Out

President Jefferson usually gets the credit for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which doubled the size of the young nation. But this ignores one important actor, the U.S. Congress. Nearly every step of the process involved the approval of, and funding from, the Legislative Branch. This DBQuest will walk you through primary sources that show the give and take between the two branches.