Students should have a solid foundation of the regional differences in the former colonies, now states, as well as an understanding of the ratification of the Constitution. This Lesson is best used after students have read The Constitutional Convention and The Ratification Debate on the Constitution Narratives in Chapter 3. The James Madison and the Bill of Rights Narrative in Chapter 4 can be used as background for the Lesson or can be assigned as homework after the Lesson to reinforce main ideas.
Article 1 Legislative Branch
In the early republic, Congress was a colorful, exciting, unpredictable, and contentious branch of the United States government. The members constantly quarreled but often deliberated and compromised through persuasive oratory and rational conversation. Congress was divided by party and sectionalism, but was guided through these difficulties by legislative statesmen. The Congress continued to function as the undisputed law making body of the people of the United States. Even during some of its most tumultuous years, from 1789 until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1860, the Congress effectively governed the nation.
What new things did you learn about the Branches of Government? Take this quiz to test your knowledge!
What are some of the new things you learned about the Branches of Government? Take this quiz to test your knowledge!
This game immerses students in the workings of our three branches of government. Players take on the roles of legislator, president and Supreme Court justice to get constitutional laws enacted. Players must juggle several bills at once while holding press conferences and town hall meetings.
How does a bill become a law? What is the role of Congress and the President in this process? How did the Clean Water Act of 1972 become a law?
Committees improve the organization of the Senate and House of Representatives. Members of Congress cannot be experts on all issues. For this reason, the Senate and House of Representatives developed committees that focus on particular subjects.
What is a biography? Who are the people who represent Americans in Congress? How do you compose a biography about one of the representatives?
Justice Stephen G. Breyer and a group of high school students discuss separation of powers among the three branches of government in connection with the pay discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. that resulted in a 2009 law called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
The D.C. Compensated Emancipation Act was an important and symbolic victory. It was part of a larger struggle over the meaning and practice of freedom and citizenship. What does it mean to be a participating member of society? What does freedom and citizenship mean?
The United States Congress consists of two legislative bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate. There are many similarities between these institutions, so what are the differences?
Congressional Apportionment: The United States Senate consists of how many members? The answer is fairly simple: with two members apiece representing each of the fifty states, the total is one hundred. How about the House of Representatives? The answer is much more complicated.
The process of how a bill becomes a federal law is more than a series of linked steps. It is the fundamental way people in a democracy get involved and work through their elected officials to meet needs and solve problems to benefit themselves and other Americans. Through this lesson, students will learn about the dynamic process of federal lawmaking and how it relates to them.
The estimated time for the lesson is three to five class periods. It is aligned to the National Standards for Civics and Government.
Learn how laws are made in an updated version of LawCraft. Select a district to represent in the House of Representatives, then review letters from constituents. You'll dig into survey data and select an issue that's important to you and the people who live in your district. Take that issue to the House and jump into the law-making process. See if you can make the compromises necessary to get your bill passed by the House and Senate and still make a law you're proud of.
In this Learning Adventure, we’ll discover who made the Branches of Government and why they’re so important.