Here, students will be a member of a Classroom Congress, where they will simulate the legislative process with their own bills. Each student will be a member of either the House of Representatives or the Senate. In this activity, students will create their own law that they would like to see implemented in society. Depending on the time available, teachers can have students simply draft the bills on Storyboard That or use the extended activity to simulate the Classroom Congress.
Students will include the following information in their storyboards:
Following the creation of the student proposals for law, the class will simulate the Classroom Congress. The first step in this process will be to divide the class into both the House of Representatives or the Senate. The Senate group should be smaller than the House, if practical. After the students have been divided into the House and the Senate, students will present their bills to their smaller groups. If class size is an issue and these groups are too large, the teacher may divide the Senate and the House into smaller committees so each student has the opportunity to present their storyboard bill to one another.
Once the students have presented to their groups, the Senate and the House will vote on whether they wish to pass the laws. If the majority of the group approves of the law, the law will then be proposed to the other house for approval. If both the classroom Senate and the House approve of the law, then the class can either have the teacher or student be the President of the United States with the power to sign or veto the bill. Following the steps of the “How a Bill Becomes A Law” activity, students will be able to know what steps come next if the President vetos the bill.
For teachers that use this activity with more than one class, they may create a list of the laws that are being passed in each class and allow the other classes to vote on their bills. Depending on the approved new law and the decisions of the teacher, if the law is appropriate for class they may “enforce” the new student-created law in the class!
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Create your own law that you would like to see implemented in society or school.