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The Legislative Branch

Day # Lesson Title Objective


1 Introduction to Congress Introduce students to the
and its structure way Congress is set up
(bicameral legislature,etc.)

2 Senate Discuss the Senate in


depth. Its roles, structure,
etc.

3 House of Representatives Discuss the House of


Representatives in depth.
Its roles, structure, etc.

4 Congressional Breakdown Analyze the demographics


and Demographics of congress; race, gender,
ethnicity

5 Congressional Powers Discuss the powers that


Congress possesses

6 The Law-making Process An in depth, guided tour


through the lawmaking
process

7 Individual Bill Writing Students will write their


Brainstorm and Activity own bills to use in the
upcoming classes

8 Simulate Congressional Students will analyze their


Committees own bills, as well as their
classmates bills. They will
amend, add to, or kill bills
throughout this process

9 Simulate Congressional Students will analyze their


Committees own bills, as well as their
classmates bills. They will
amend, add to, or kill bills
throughout this process

10 Review Day Students will reexamine


materials from the previous
unit through review games
in order to prepare for their
assessment

11 Assessment Students will be assessed


on their knowledge of the
Legislative branch

Brents Evaluation:

- I really like the activities you have set up in this Unit. I look forward, when I am
the President, to reading each of these bills. I think this lesson will give students the
opportunity to become creative in their bill making process. I also, like how the students
could potentially work in groups. I think that it will serve as motivation considering that
the students will be creating a bill that means something to them. Im sure that you have
seen the Im just a bill video from Schoolhouse Rock, however you should look at Im
just a bill by SNL. I believe your students would find it funny. Any type of governmental
class is important because it is providing you with real life scenarios. This again
motivates students to learn important lessons about functioning governments.

Evaluation by John Ferguson:


Johanne Fergustafason (typed by Mr. Gobble)
Ben, I think you have a great opportunity to make this unit fun
(MUFA- making units fun again!). Anyways, I would suggest using
parliamentary procedure for the lessons on the Senate and House. It
could be fun to refer to someone as the Representative from
Tennessee. I could also see the possibly of a project, which can
ensure that the learning is authentic to a real life context. A group of
students could be assigned a Senator or Representative and follow him
or her throughout the semester or just for the unit. Doing this could
also encourage motivation, such as problems and materials drawn
from everyday situations. It would be great way to lead a class
discussion on an issue and have debate according to Parliamentary
Procedure. Lastly, I think this project would encourage students to
explore learning outside the classroom, which would accomplish the
signs of active learning.
Evaluation by Justin Gobble:

I think that your unit plan looks good. I know one challenge with
teaching government is that you have to explain concepts and dynamics of
how the government works before you can really get into the fun stuff. I
think what you have here looks great. It explains the concepts about crafting
and passing bills and then has the students actively engage with what they
have learned. The only suggestion that I would offer is that maybe you could
do a side activity where students do research on Virginias representatives
and senators. Everything looks good!

Self-Evaluation:
I had actually planned to do both of the two activities suggested by both
John and Justin, but this does confirm that the two idea were good. I think
both of them would add a special element to the classroom and allow the
students to use their creativity in a productive manner and also provide
students with a local and state knowledge of Virginia.