Unit and lesson plans prepared by teachers using CongressLink resources and features.
Congressional Scavenger Hunt
In this lesson, students work in groups to find names of Senators and Representatives, requirements to become a Congressperson, maps of states with many and few representatives, political cartoons and more for a Scavenger Hunt on Congress. Students create a poster or collage to display their findings.
in the Life of a Senator
In this lesson, students read a primary source document written by a former Senator and create skits depicting a scene in the life of a Senator. Finally, students evaluate their own potential as future Senators.
with Your Members of Congress
The purpose of this lesson is to acquaint students with their senators and representatives by using a variety of web sites. Students will explore their own positions on issues and then compare them with positions and policy decisions of the senators and representative. Finally, students will take part in the political process by communicating their views with a member of Congress and develop a greater understanding of the workings of a representative democracy.
Creating a Metaphor for the Three Branches of Government
Students will create a metaphor poster that completes this comparison: “The three branches of government under the Constitution are like a…” They will also design and create an illustration for their metaphor, complete with a brief written explanation of why the metaphor is accurate. Each group’s metaphor must have the features listed in the lesson plan.
Representative is Congress?
Students become aware of certain characteristics of the membership (i.e., ethnicity, age, gender, and political party affiliation) of Congress and determine if Congress is representative of the public as a whole. Students will gain an understanding of the sociopolitical and sociological nature of Congress, an important aspect of "representation" and related to the unit What Every Student Should Know About Congress.
Introducing the Freshman Class of the 111th Congress
Students become aware of certain characteristics of the membership (i.e., ethnicity, age, gender, and political party affiliation) of the 65 freshman members of the 111th House of Representatives (2009-2010) and determine if these new members are representative of the public as a whole. Students will gain an understanding of the sociopolitical and sociological nature of Congress, an important aspect of "representation" and related to the unit What Every Student Should Know About Congress.
The Job of
a Member of Congress
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the complex job of a Congress member. While the U.S. Constitution outlines the general qualifications and responsibilities of the office, the tasks accruing to a Congress member because of pressures not expressed in the Constitution and the elastic clause make the job more complex than a casual observer might think. The United States Constitution, past/current events, and CongressLink resources will facilitate student understanding of the complex role of a Congress member.
Legislative Branch - Want Ads: An Introductory Lesson
In this lesson, students will determine the qualifications for Congress and create want ads for the positions of senator and congressman. They will evaluate how the principles of government assist or impede the functioning of the government. They will think creatively, critically, and strategically to make effective decisions, solve problems, and achieve goals. After students read Article 1 of the United States Constitution, they will complete a chart entitled “Comparing the House and Senate.” Students will use the information they collected to complete the attached “Comparing the House and Senate” chart and write a want ad for a congressman and senator.
Your Views Known: Writing a Letter to Congress
In this lesson, students read sample letters to Congress, choose an issue of concern in the nation, and write their own letters to a Congressperson.
Meet Your Representatives
Who represents you at the federal level? How about in state government? County? Local? How well do these people represent you and the people of your state and district? These important questions will become even more vital when your students become qualified to vote, for casting an informed ballot is a key responsibility for all citizens. Fortunately, there is no shortage of information about your representatives. Your students will develop a profile of the men and women highlighted in this lesson. They will put together their research and that of their classmates to develop a portrait of who stands up for them at all levels of government.
The student will understand the qualities that make a leader. More specifically, the student will understand those qualities a Senate or House leader must possess. They will also realize that leadership is not one dimensional but reliant upon many different circumstances and attributes.