Legislative Branch

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Most students are familiar with some parts of the world of politics and government, but are usually unsure of the two parts that make up Congress, the House and the Senate. They may hear Congress men or women, senators, and representatives speak on television but may not truly understand their role in the government. The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to the other branches of government.

Legislative Branch Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Legislative Branch
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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Description

This informative lesson introduces students to the legislative branch of the U.S. government. Most students are familiar with some parts of the world of politics and government, but are usually unsure of the two parts that make up Congress, the House and the Senate. They may hear Congress men or women, senators, and representatives speak on television but may not truly understand their role in the government. The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to the other branches of government. It is highly recommended a Congressional representative or senator be invited to speak to the class.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction

  1. Ask: What do you think of when you hear the word “Congress”?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Where do you hear the word “Congress” said most often?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce the Legislative Branch of the United States.
  4. Distribute Legislative Branch content pages. Read and review the information with the students. Save the final question for the lesson closing. Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions. Do not allow students to discuss ideas for their bills. PART 1: Tell students to leave Committee Changes blank. (It will be used later.) Collect each slip of paper.
  6. PART 2: Place students in groups (committees) of 3 or 4. Distribute some “bill” ideas to each committee to discuss and consider for further action. Allow sufficient time for discussion. Collect all bills, approved and rejected.
  7. PART 3: Create 4 new groups: 2 Senate, 2 House. Distribute the “approved bills” to the 4 groups. Allow sufficient time for discussion, edits, or amendments. Students will make edits in the section provided. Announce when it is time for the committees to vote. Collect approved and rejected bills.
  8. PART 4: The groups join as the full House and full Senate. Distribute a set of approved bills to each group (House). Students discuss and vote for or against the bills. Bills are exchanged between Houses.
  9. Collect approved bills. Announce each to the class. (The teacher may decide to veto one or more of the bills.) Bills vetoed will be reconsidered by the Senate and House.
  10. PART 5: Pair students to discuss and respond to the questions. As a class, discuss the responses.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.5.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade

Subject

Social Studies

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LR
11/08/2018
LaTonia R.
US

I just love this packet.

I just love this packet. It was kid friendly and my students really enjoyed it.