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Activity Overview

There are multiple steps in the process of how a bill becomes a law, and students should be able to understand this process as they study the Legislative Branch. This allows them to have a better idea of how different ideas are introduced and how laws are chosen (and why it's important to ensure your voice is heard!).

In this activity, students will create a traditional storyboard that represents the process of how a bill becomes a law. They will be able to take the complex legislative process and make it much easier to understand with a visualization on their storyboards.

Students may also choose to use the timeline layout or create a timeline poster instead of a traditional storyboard. Teachers can add multiple templates to the activity to provide students with different options, both scaffolded or not, and update the activity instructions accordingly.

How a Bill Becomes a Law

  1. Idea For Law Is Created
  2. Bill is Introduced to Committee
  3. Bill is Voted Upon in House of Origin
  4. Bill is sent to other House
  5. Bill is Voted Upon in the Other House
  6. Bill is Sent to the President
  7. President Contemplates Options
    • President Agrees With Bill
    • President Uses the Pocket Veto
    • President Doesn't Sign While Congress is in Session, or He Vetoes
    • Congressional Override of Veto

Extended Activity

After students have displayed their understanding of the legislative process, their extended activity will be to create a timeline that represents the story of a law that was passed in Congress at some point in American history. Students will be able to define where the initial idea for the law came from and represent how each step occurred on the bill’s way to becoming a law.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that illustrates how a bill becomes a law.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify each step in the process of creating a law.
  3. Write a summary of each step in the description boxes.
  4. Create an illustration for each step using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

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