Lesson Plan: Introduction to Congress
Objectives: The students will
I. describe how Congress is organized;
II. understand the idea of representation in Congress and how it differs between the two houses;
III. describe the Committee system of work in Congress.
2.2 Differentiate between the House and the Senate in reference to length of term, qualifications, leadership, and committee organization. PS-1
2.3 Demonstrate how a federal bill becomes a law. PS-1
2.4 Compare and contrast delegated, implied, and denied powers of Congress.
Warm Up Activity (Anticipatory Set): What do you know about Congress?
A) Have students form groups of three or four.
B) Have them create a list that indicates what they already know about Congress.
C) Students should not use their books. Review the answers of each
group orally. Have them check off items mentioned by any other group.
Main Activity (Instructional Input): Congressional Vocabulary
|From Civics Today, Chapter 6
From Chapter 5 of American Civics
B) Assign a set of words to each group of students. Have students word process their definitions on computer. Each term should reside on a computer and students should move around the room to word process them where the word is posted. The same can be done with poster board.
C) Have each group use the Internet to locate a link or web page that illustrates the definition. If the word is a position in Congress such as the majority whip, have the students find the page of the majority whip and place the title and wehb address of the web page on the file with their definition.
D) The final product should bring all terms, definitions and web addresses together so that the vocabulary list can be posted as an interactive vocabulary list that students and teachers can use to find information about Congress.
Examples (Modeling): See previous activity.
Check For Understanding: Reading and Puzzle on Congress
A) Distribute a reading on Congress that contains the key words above.
B) Have students create or complete a crossword puzzle that uses those terms.
Homework (Independent Practice): Congress In The News
A) Have students locate web, magazine or newspaper articles that deal with Congress.
B) Students must summarize their article and identify how the function or structure of Congress is found in the article.
Wrap-Up Activity (Closure): Local Congressional Leaders
A) Have students use a newspaper or the Internet to identify the leaders of Congress for their state.
B) Have students write a short biography of one or more of the state's delegation to Congress.
C) Have students find out who is running for reelection and who the
opponent is, their political parties, and the views they hold on the major
Evaluation: The lesson will be evaluated by:
I. the accuracy of student's written responses;
II. student's scores on future tests and quizzes.