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Activity Overview


In this activity, students will create a timeline that represents the major events that have occurred throughout the rich history of the United States Congress. Students may research events on their own, or the teacher can provide a list. For each event, students should include a brief description of the event along with a representation of the person, idea, law, or controversy that occurred at the chosen date.

For an alternative to the timeline layout, have students create a timeline poster to incorporate into a presentation or gallery walk. You can add more than one template to this assignment to give students lots of options and adjust the instructions accordingly.

History of the United States Congress

  • March 4, 1789 - First United States Congress
  • December 15th, 1791 - Bill of Rights Ratified
  • September 18th, 1793 - Capitol Groundbreaking
  • April 30th, 1803 - Louisiana Purchase
  • May 30, 1854 - Kansas-Nebraska Act
  • December 6, 1865 - 13th Amendment Ratified
  • June 30, 1906 - Pure Food and Drug Act
  • August 26, 1920 - 19th Amendment Ratified
  • July 2, 1964 - Crisis Finally Ends

Extended Activity

After students have created their timeline of events, students can complete the extended activity for the remaining two events. Depending on the teacher preference, students can choose the following options for the additional events.

  • The greatest law passed by Congress
  • The most infamous law passed by Congress
  • The greatest Congressman or Congresswoman
  • The most infamous Congressman or Congresswoman
  • An event that predicts the future of Congress or a law that they predict will be passed in their lifetime.

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 timeline detailing the history of the U.S. Congress.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify important events and legislation and type them into the titles of each cell.
  3. Write a summary of each event/legislation/policy in the description box.
  4. Create an illustration using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference


Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)


Timeline
Create a timeline of important events and people, and explain their significance. Make sure the dates are correct, and the Photos for Class pictures are historically accurate or significant.
Proficient
33 Points
Emerging
25 Points
Beginning
17 Points
Events and Dates
The events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. The dates provided are correct.
Most of the events chosen for the timeline are significant and important to the overall understanding of the time period. Most of the dates provided are correct.
Some of the events chosen for the timeline are significant. There may be missing events, or events that are irrelevant. Too many dates may be incorrect.
Explanations/Descriptions
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are accurate and provide insight into the significance of the events.
The explanations or descriptions provided for each event are mostly accurate and attempt to provide insight into the significance of the events.
There are several glaring inaccuracies in the explanations or descriptions of the events. There may be little or no insight int the significance of the events, or the information provided may be too limited or missing.
English Conventions
There are 0-2 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 3-4 mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.
There are 5 or more mistakes in spelling, grammar, and mechanics.





Image Attributions
  • Johnson Cancer Cure (FDA002) • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration • License United States Government Work (http://www.usa.gov/copyright.shtml)
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