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EGP 335.

535 Lesson Plan


Dr. Leaman, Spring 2017

Lesson Plan Details Legislative Branch, 5, Mirjana Vlahovich


Expected Duration (50 minutes)
Social Sciences Civics and Government
Concepts
o Making Laws
o Passing Bills
o Congress
o House of Representatives
o Senate
Vocabulary
o Legislature - persons who make or amend or repeal laws
o Veto a vote that blocks a decision
o Bill a draft of a law presented to a legislature for consideration
o Law a rule of conduct or action that a nation or a group of people agrees to
follow
o Elected chosen by votes for a public office
o Chambers - a hall for the meetings of a deliberative, legislative, or judicial body
the senate
o Assemblies - persons who make or amend or repeal laws
o Hopper a special box that bills are placed to be introduced in the House of
Representatives
Skills practiced during this lesson will be how to find your representative. Students will
also learn the skill of making a bill into a law and how they can affect this process.
Goals of Lesson Understanding how Congress works, knowledge of the role and
responsibilities of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Integration of Learning Outcomes/Objectives


Students will be able to describe the process of making a law.
Students will be able to define the two chambers of Congress, the House of
Representatives and Senate.
Students will be able to illustrate how a bill is passed.
Students will be able to apply the lesson to reaching out to their representatives in regards
to making laws.

Standards PA Civics, History, Economics, Geography &


NCSS Themes I - X with subthemes
5.3.4.A Identify the roles of the three branches of government.
5.3.4.E Explain the voting process.
5.3.4.G Identify individual interests and explain ways to influence others.
I. Culture and Cultural Diversity; NCSS.1.1.a
IV. Individual Development and Identity; NCSS.1.4.a
V. Individuals, Groups, and Institutions; NCSS.1.5.a
VI. Power, Authority, and Governance; NCSS.1.6.b
X. Civic Ideals and practices; NCSS.1.10.a and NCSS.1.10.d
Anticipatory Set
Teacher will briefly begin with an introduction of prior knowledge, We discussed the terms
veto and amendment in relation to classroom rules being made. Today, we are going to look
further into these terms and the actual process of making a bill into a law. Knowing this will
enable you to be able to make changes in your government by reaching out to your
representatives. This is why we are a Democracy, so that we the people can have a voice and
a say in how we live!
Lets watch this video that will touch on the things we will be learning about the
Legislative Branch. The word legislative means to make laws. Who is it that makes laws
in the United States? Turn and talk to your neighbor. Students will take a few minutes
to discuss this question. Then the teacher will play this video which will introduce
Congress and the Senate and House of Representatives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?
v=InuTWvhGJk8
As we just saw, it is the representatives in Congress that make laws. We will now focus
on the steps they go through to make these laws and how we can impact these laws as we
the people.
Procedures
1. Teacher will pass out the How Does a Bill Become a Law Infograph to all students.
2. The teacher will review each section posted on the infograph, starting with reading the
fact that every law starts with an idea. So we already see that we can reach out and
contact our representatives to start the process of making a law. The elected officials in
Congress can write a bill if they want to make our ideas into a law. Members in both
houses are elected by direct popular vote, meaning, we the people voted them into office.
Again, we have a say in what we say to Congress, and we have a say in who we say it to
in Congress. Is this what you thought during our turn and talk before the video on who
makes laws in our government? We are a part of that who!
3. The teacher will continue to read sections 2-4. The House of Representatives uses
electronic voting whereas the Senate does roll call votes stating yes or no for a bill. The
Senate is not opposed to using an electronic system but is in no hurry to start. What
difference do you think it makes whether voting by voice or by an electronic system? Why
do you think the Senate is not eager to use an electronic system? The teacher will help
guide the conversation to the difference in size of the two chambers/assemblies and how
this may play a role in the advancement of technology based on need.
4. The teacher will read section 5. Theres that word veto again! So the President has a
role in making laws too, but does he have all the power? Congress can override a veto.
What does it mean to override? Turn and talk to a different neighbor this time and
discuss who holds the power in making laws. After students discuss for a few minutes,
the teacher will direct, Now I want you to get out a piece of paper and list who you think
is in charge of making laws, dont forget to write your name on your paper. Teacher will
collect these papers to ensure that all students understand the people involved in the
legislative branch and each citizens role in this part of government.
5. Now we are going to see if you know the steps of how a bill becomes a law with a card
sort. Teacher will pass out the cards for the card sort https://gsa-cmp-
fileupload.s3.amazonaws.com/how-a-bill-activity.pdf , and turn the infographs upside
down on the students desks. Teacher will monitor which students turn their infographs
back over to help them sort their cards for formative assessment.
6. The teacher will leave the infographs on the students desks in order to help facilitate
learning for those that are still struggling with the concepts of the lesson, but turning
them over will allow students to be challenged on their own as well.
7. What are some ideas you have for laws that you think would be good for we the
people? Teacher will write these ideas on the board and have students go into groups
based on which idea they support. You will brainstorm in your groups why you chose
this idea that would be most beneficial to the most people. Then you
will return to your desks and write a letter to your representative about
this idea and why it should be made into a law. Teacher will give
students about 10 minutes to work on these. This can be continued
during a writing activity later in the day, and/or week. Students may
work on orally presenting their letters at this time as well. Teacher will
also have available the print outs of the vocabulary list from the board
for students that would like to have their own copy to make notes on.
8. Now we are going to look up our own representatives so we can write to them about our
ideas! You will use the envelopes and stamps I hand out to you to mail your letters once
they are completed. Half of the students will google to find their representatives, then
they will switch and the other half will search for their mailing address at
http://clerk.house.gov/Member_Info/ Teacher will also hand out envelopes and stamps
for students to use for the mailing addresses they find.
9. Opportunity to view video with extended information (listed in the Differentiation section
in the third bullet) for both lower and higher levels can be input here.

Differentiation
Individual needs for all students will be met through the formative assessment that the
teacher will provide during observation of turn and talks, where questions can be clarified
as the teacher asks each pair to share their discussions.
Formative assessment during the card sort portion of the activity as well as the discussion
time in small groups to write the letters. The teacher will walk through the groups and
engage the students in discussions to explain their thoughts and how they got there.
This video will be used to help students further their understanding of the Legislative
Branch. This video provides more details for students that wish to extend their learning.
This video is also a great visual for children that are struggling and need further
explanation with the current content being covered. This video also has a voice
explaining the visual video, unlike the intro video that required reading by the students.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwCLInKhUTo
Students will be allowed to present their letters orally, and have then have them
transcribed by a parent volunteer.
The vocabulary list will be up on the chalk board but printouts will also be available so
that students can make helpful notes as individually needed.

Closure
We will continue to review and revise our letters and then move forward to mail them to our
representatives. Do you think that you could use these skills to make changes to school and
classroom rules? How would you proceed with that? Do you have any ideas that you would like
to bring forward? If you are not able to change the rules, do you think you have still made a
difference? Voicing your concerns and ideas are needed to make change. If many people voice
the same things, change can happen, but you wont know if you dont first reach out with your
voice.

Formative/Summative Assessment of Students (P-12)


Formative assessment will be used during turn and talks where questions can be asked to
further guide the students thinking and understanding which will meet the objective of
defining the chambers in Congress. (5.3.4.A)
Formative assessment will also be used during the card sort, where the teacher will mark
off on a list who did and did not use the infograph for this activity which will meet the
objective of the process of how a law is made and how a bill is passed. (5.3.4.E)
Summative assessment will occur with the paper that the students hand in stating what
people are in charge of making laws. The correct answer, as in the rubric, would be the
president, Congress, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the people/citizens
which will meet the objective that students know how a law is made.
Summative assessment will also take place in the letter written, or oral presentation that
is transcribed, to the Representative which will show that the objective of finding and
reaching out to a representative has been met, as well as understanding that laws can start
as ideas by any concerned citizen. (5.3.4.G)

Materials/Equipment
Student Materials
Two videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InuTWvhGJk8 and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwCLInKhUTo
How does a Bill become a Law Infograph
Law Card sort: https://gsa-cmp-fileupload.s3.amazonaws.com/how-a-bill-activity.pdf
Google website for searching local representatives: https://www.google.com
Website fo rsearching representatives mailing address:
http://clerk.house.gov/Member_Info/
Pieces of notebook paper
Pencil
Envelopes
Stamps
Computers
Chalk board
Vocabulary List

Teacher note sheet with references


*Submitted separately in D2L*

Technology
Computers
Two videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InuTWvhGJk8 which is a great visual
aid and introduction to the context to be covered in the lesson, and
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwCLInKhUTo which is another great visual aid
with more details and slower analysis as well as audio to assist in presenting the material.
Two websites: Google website for searching local representatives:
https://www.google.com and
Website for searching representatives mailing address:
http://clerk.house.gov/Member_Info/

Reflection on Planning
In creating this Lesson Plan, I hoped to make it an interactive experience for the students,
by having them participate in how to be an active citizen and reaching out to their representatives.
I hope that it will help them connect the lesson goals as something important in their lives and
futures that they can build upon now. I enjoyed incorporating a connection to Literacy as well by
allowing the students to continue working on the letters throughout the Literacy lessons. This
way they are practicing their civic duties and social studies lesson goals in other areas and times
of the school day so that it has a deeper impact and more meaningful experience for the students
learning. I also wanted to include this activity so that they see that they can follow through on
their ideas that start in the classroom and then expand into the community around them.
My concern for the lesson implementation is that the two activities will be overwhelming
for the students to engage in within one lesson. I hope that the card sort is good to structure the
concept of the goals to explain the voting process so that the students can explore more deeply
through the research and written activity of the lesson and really get into their individual interests
and the ways that they can influence others. I worry about the students that are lower level
feeling overwhelmed by the process since the differentiation is in place to give them ample time
to complete their activities. I think that I can improve on the lesson by incorporating an
understanding that no student should feel rushed in this lesson, discussions, or activities.

Current Event

A. France
B. First country to pass law for supermarkets to donate soon to
expire food, rather than throwing it out to stop food waste. It is a
great way to link current events with global issues that citizens
from other countries are voting on. It is important globally and
more countries can get involved.
C. Dogo News (March 7, 2016) France Becomes The First Country In
The World To
Ban Supermarket Food Waste (website). Retrieved from
https://www.dogonews.com/2016/3/7/france-becomes-the-first-country-in-
the-world-to-ban-supermarket-food-waste
Infograph:
Card Sort:

How a Bill Becomes a Law Activity


Instructions: First read all the steps to pass a bill, and then rearrange and number them in the correct order.

Brought to you by
Rubric:
for Who Is In Charge of Making Laws
Correct answers include:
President
Congress
House of Representatives
Senate
People/Citizens

3 If 4 or 5 listed correctly in the answer.


2 If 3 are listed correctly in the answer.
1 If 2 are listed correctly in the answer.
0 If 1 or less are listed correctly in the answer.

Lesson Plan Element Point Value


40 points total

Lesson Plan Details 2

Integration of Learning Outcomes/Objectives 3

Standards PA Civics, History, Economics, Geography & NCSS 3


Theme/subtheme

Anticipatory Set 2

Procedures 6

Differentiation 2

Closure 2

Formative/Summative Assessment of Students (P-12) 3

Materials/Equipment , Citation of Sources 2

Technology

Reflection on Planning

Teacher Content Notes 10

Global Current Event 5