Lesson Plan


A lesson plan on the US Congress using a simulation and computer research.


  • Social Studies > General
  • Education > General

Education Levels:

  • Grade 9
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  • Grade 11
  • Grade 12
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Civics Civic Education Media Literacy



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Creative Commons Attribution 3.0
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Curriki Rating
On a scale of 0 to 3
On a scale of 0 to 3

This resource was reviewed using the Curriki Review rubric and received an overall Curriki Review System rating of 2, as of 2011-06-29.

Component Ratings:

Technical Completeness: 3
Content Accuracy: 2
Appropriate Pedagogy: 2

Reviewer Comments:

This resource is an interactive lesson plan that provides students with the opportunities to learn about Congress through researching and debating a relevant bill. The lesson plan is detailed and includes worksheets and clear procedures. The lesson begins with a teacher-directed lecture on the structure and workings of Congress and then students begin research on a bill from the perspective of an assigned political party in preparation for a debate on the bill. Overall, the lesson is well-structured and the bill topic, cell phone usage while driving, would be engaging for the students. It should be noted that the lesson covers a lot of content, and it might be good to either lengthen the lesson to ensure more time for developing background knowledge or to provide students with more guidance and handouts through the entire process.
Jillian Kistler
June 17, 2011

I wish I had a civics class that made us participate in lessons like this one. Emily Ann you have a very thoughtful lesson plan, and thanks for the detailed worksheets! This looks like an easily executed lesson and it also looks like the students will not get bogged down with the long and sometimes boring legislation process. Now I would suggest elaborating a little more on the types of questions you will be asking to guide the discussion as well as the role of the teacher (that way it is easier for other to borrow your great work and execute it in their classroom!). Other than that, great work and I know students will get into this!

Amy Erdman
June 17, 2011

I thought this lesson idea was great--in fact, it was one idea I was toying with before I planned my authentic assessment. The legislative process can be long and confusing (and boring) for students if you do not have an interesting and interactive way to present it, which is why I think your lesson plan is great. Giving students the reigns to research a bill and discover the pros and cons would definitely give them more of a stake in the legislative process. The incorporation of research in the computer lab is a great way to incorporate media literacy into the lesson, and its a great idea to have students answer specific questions and become accountable for their research ( a minor suggestion would be to make sure there are plenty of open and close ended questions for students to answer). I think this worksheet will help students organize their information as well as show their knowledge to the teacher, when necessary. Good job on this lesson, its a great topic!

Sara Thompson
June 16, 2011

Emily Ann ~ I thought that this lesson was great! I really like that you not only are teaching about Congress but doing so through having them research various perspectives on a bill. Will students understand the process of passing a bill prior to this exercise? Also, I think that the lesson could be equally as interesting if there is appropriate video or information available from bias news outlets like MSNBC and FOX. You could really teach some media literacy through such stations. Overall, this is a good lesson and I think students would really enjoy it!

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