U.S. Government, Civics, U.S. History
This lesson will address the role of standing committees in Congress. Students will learn how to depict the standing committees in Congress kinesthetically and visually. They will be able to explain why each committee is important to Congress and analyze the difference between standing and select committees.
Step 1: Assign students a standing committee from the House and/or Senate. (For smaller classes you may need to assign students multiple committees to make sure they are covered.)
Education and the Workforce
Energy and Commerce
Standard of Official Conduct
Transportation and Infrastructure
Ways and Means
- Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry
- Armed Services
- Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Energy and Natural Resources
- Environment and Public Works
- Foreign Relations
- Homeland Security and Government Affairs
- Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
- Rules and Administration
- Small Business and Entrepreneurship
- Veterans’ Affairs
Students will visit the Web sites of the House and the Senate and link to their committee web site in order to determine their committee’s jurisdiction.
Step 2: The students must bring in an object(s) that represents a subject with their assigned committee’s jurisdiction. Have them place the object in the House or Senate Committee Chest.
Step 3: Students come up one at a time and pick an object from one of the boxes. They must guess which committee the object represents. (It helps if you have the list of committees on the board and you erase them as you go.)
Step 4: The student who brought in the object must then come up in front of the class and explain why the committee is important and why it is a standing committee instead of a select committee.
Step 5: Students will identify various committees and groups within their school and determine their “jurisdictions.”
Step 6: Students will compare the two sets of committees.
Step 7: When all of the committees have been explained, the students will write a reflection. They must write about their committee and why they chose that object to represent its jurisdiction. They must also suggest how congressional committees might be improved.
Plainfield Central High School