Government - How a Bill Becomes a Law
Brain Pop always catches my 6th graders' attention. This video offers a quick and fun look at the 3 branches of government. By 6th grade, students should have a clear understanding of the functions of the 3 branches of government. However, if a student is unsure or needs a quick refresher, this video will connect to his/her prior knowledge. This video combined with a few discussion questions will help motivate students to learn more.
2 Direct Instruction
Using Prezi, I am able to faciliate a whole class discussion that clearly outlines the new information students are learning. Once students have been refreshed with the 3 branches of government, I can use a Prezi to teach students about the roles each branch plays and how they come together to propose bills and pass laws. Students will be able to see how everything flows together before creating his/her own bill proposal.
3 Guided Practice
https://www.icivics.org/node/593/resource - Law Craft
This game grabs students' attention and captures. It lets students create his/her own law as they assume the identity of a Representative or Senator in Congress. This game makes a connection with prior knowledge such as basic knowledge of laws and the government make up of the United States. This game is great because it motivates students to learn more about how laws are created and how Congress functions. Students will be able to play this game as a whole class activity and then indepdently or collaboratively.
4 Independent Practice
Within collaborative groups, students will assume the role of Senators or Representatives. Each group will be responsible for proposing a bill on a current event issue presented to their group. Students will use Google Docs to create a document. Using Google Docs, the recorder of the group can share the document and allow other group members to edit the document.
When the bill proposal is finished, students will email me the link or share it on Edmodo.com. Students will then present his/her bill proposal and the two sides, Senators and Representatives will debate it. The debate may take the whole class period to hear all bill proposals. Each group will take the concerns of "Congress" and decide if they want to make any changes to their bill proposal. Once changes have been made, each bill proposal will be briefly discussed and Congress will vote whether to pass each bill proposal and send it on its way to become a law.