How a Bill Becomes a Law (Create Your Own Board Game)
To begin the lesson the students will come into the room and view the school house rocks video about How a Bill becomes a law. The video offers 6th graders a very basic view of how a bill becomes a law. The video captures their attention in song form and is 3 minutes and 1 second in length. When the video is over I will quickly review the branches of government and who are the leaders in the branches. Also, I will review with the students who represents are from our state in Congress. (This information should already be learned however, this will serve as a quick review)
Appox. time: 10 minutes
President (Barack Obama)
Vice President/President of the Senate (Joe Biden)
Speaker of the House (John Boehner)
Governor (Earl Ray Tomblin)
Senators (Joe Manchin) (Jay Rockefeller)
Represenatives (David McKinley) (Shelly Capito) (Nick Rahall III)
2 Direct Instruction
Using Prezi which are pre-made digital power points, (you can make your own or explore pre-made power points about many subject areas) I went over the step by step process of how a bill becomes a law. But first I wanted to do a quick review about the three branches of government. I used a pre-made prezi that enabled students to understand the three branches of government, the people in the charge, and the functions of each branch. Then I used another prezi describing the step by step process of how a bill becomes a law. The students will be able to take notes on the process which is edited for 6th grade. (If teaching at an upper level it can be modified to be more in depth) I focused on the ten step process found on quizlet which is found below.
Appox. Time: 45 minutes
1.The bill is introduced in one chamber of the Congress
Senate: stands and reads
House: places in Hopper
2.The bill is assigned to a standing committee
3.The standing committee reports the bill back to the floor (whole chamber)
4.The bill is placed on a congressional calendar ( the schedule for the debates)
5.The chamber considers the bill - debate is held
6.A vote is held, If it passes the first chamber, it is called an act
7.The Act is sent to the other chamber
8.The conference committee meets to iron out the differences in the versions of the legislation
9.The legislation is sent to the President for his signature.
The president could veto the legislation
10.Congress may override a veto by a 2/3's vote of both chambers (becomes law)
3 Guided Practice
http://kids.clerk.house.gov/middle-school - The students are directed to this site to help them for their board game creation.
The students are placed into groups and will have access to an iPad and/or a computer. The students must create their own board game teaching the steps of a how bill becomes a law. The game must include the ten steps of how a bill becomes a law and it also must use important members of Government (that we have discussed) to be a part of the game.
An example game board can be found here: http://www.cyberlearning-world.com/lessons/civics/lp.bill_to_law.htm
The students must also develop rules and directions on how to play the game. After the game is played by the students they will stand up and share with the class how to play the game. The students then will pass their board game to other group and allow students to play their board games to review the law making process.
Appox Time: 1hr 30 minutes - 2 hours
Additional Reasources can be found in these other digital tools.
4 Independent Practice
The students will find an article on the internet using a computer or iPad. The students must read one article on the internet about the process of how a bill became a law or was stopped in the process. The students will be directed to read their article here:
Then using the iPads (Issuu) the students will write a review of the article giving their feelings and thoughts about their particular article. They will also include what they learned about the process of how a bill becomes a law.
Appox. Time: 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes
The groups will use the iPads creating a 2 minute film on iMovie. The film should include what the students learned about the people in Congress and government (Us and State), what they learned about the bill process, quickly explain how they applied that knowledge to their game, and what they enjoyed about thier mini-project. Then as a class we will close by watching the videos on the smartboard as a class.
Appox. Time: 30-45 minutes
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).
By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6–8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.