Lesson Plan

How a bill becomes a law?

Students will follow the process and explain the steps in how a bill becomes a law.
Heather C.
Technolgoy Integrator
Stonewall Jackson Middle School
Mechanicsville, VA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will  reminice with the old School House Rocks Video and then research the process with several interactive sites.  The will be expected to use basic vocabulary that relates to lawmaking appropriately. Students will  explain the process digitally and give examples of what can happen in each step of the process. Students will share presentations with classmates. 

Social Studies
Grades 8 - 10
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Other — Remembering

Students will watch the old School House rock Video -- I am just a Bill.  Available on  Youtube.  Students will be encouraged to sing along. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyeJ55o3El0) and reminisce about seeing it as a young person.  Have a student try to explain how the bill about the school bus stopping at railroad crossing signs went through a process, have other classmates chime in to help when needed. 


2 Direct Instruction

     Students will be encouraged to create a list of questions before they go through the Constitution  by Kids app to assess what they already know and what they want to know.  They will then partner up and go though the Constitution App on the iPad. They will read out loud the section on the process of How a bill becomes a law and discuss the process in detail.Teacher will be monitoring discussions and roaming the room.

       Partners will make a shared list of vocabulary that they feel will be important for understanding the process.   Teacher will share story of how a specific bill effecting Education and or an issue in the students community fared as it went through the law making process.  A teacher created Educreation presentation on How a Bill becomes a law will be shared. 


3 Guided Practice

Students will explore the sites below  and others, finding information in detail on how a bill becomes a law and also how a bill does not become a law. 

Dynamic Data for Process of Bill  Website (Real Data for US Congress) 

   Students will be given a few minutes to free explore the Dynamic Data site and then given specific things to look for.  Ex. What percentage of bills actually make it into law?  Where do most bills die?  What bills did your specific congressmen propose and how did they fare?  What do you think really works with this system as shown in the graphic? What might need to be improved upon in order for more bills to become law, or is that something we want? explain

Info graphic: How a bill becomes a law

   Students  will be taking notes in applications of their choice. Students are encouraged to use the site listed here but may explore in Safari and find other content sites that support the mission of How a Bill becomes a Law.  I suggest Notability as the note taking tool as it addresses multiple learning styles. They will make sure they are citing sources and getting each step in the  law making process down for later use. Teacher will be facilitating the work by sharing and projecting some examples on the board in the front of the room. 



4 Independent Practice

Students will create  presentation that explains the process of How a bill becomes a law?  Students will include graphics, text, and voice explanation of each step  in the process and save their work to  the device.  When creating the voice over explanation students will be required to show movement on the screen with pens, highlighters etc. to use best practice with the tool. Students will be allowed to work with a partner if it is needed.  Students will be allowed to make revision after wrap up if errors are found in content. 

Instructional note:  When students are recording  their voice they will need a quiet space. I tend to send them one at a time to sit right out side the door, if the hallway is quiet. 


5 Wrap-Up

Free, Paid

Students will share their Educreations with a small group and post the links in the class Dropbox account on a document for assessment. Class will be divided in to groups of four.  Students will share presentations with assigned group. Students will evaluate work for accuracy and fullness of content. A peer comment time is required to improve the final product. Students will be allowed to re-engineer their presentation after comments have been made.