Introduction How a bill becomes a law - 3-5 grade

After completing this lesson, students will be able to articulate what a bill is, how a bill is created, submitted, and passed into law. After reviewing a video, and learning appropriate vocabulary, students will create and submit a bill to make a new rule for the classroom.

This WebQuest will satisfy the ELA Common Core standard RI.3.2: Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

Task

To begin, after reviewing the above video, prepare background knowledge by having a class discussion about laws. Some guiding questions to ask can include: What is a law? What are laws for? What would happen if we didn't have laws? Have you ever wondered how laws are made? How are laws and rules similar?

Students will watch the School House Rock video How a Bill Becomes a Law.

Students will learn appropriate vocabulary terms. Vocabulary resources can be found here and here.

This infographic will be introduced to students and reviewed and discussed.

Process

Now that the students have a working knowledge of what a bill is and the process that it must go through to become a law, as well as a working vocabulary for this lesson, students will be instructed to come up with new laws that they would like to see apply to their classroom.

1. The students will act as citizens to come up with ideas, and they will elect two of their classmates to be Representatives. The Representatives will write the bills that the citizens come up with. Up to four bills may be submitted.

2. Students will split up into two groups – the House and the Senate. The bills will be split between the two branches of Congress for discussions and voting.

3. The House will be assigned half of the bills, and they will make changes to their bills, vote, and pass the bills to the Senate.

4. The Senate will be assigned the other half of the bills, and they will make changes to their bills, vote, and pass the bills to the House.

5. Both branches will make changes to their new bills, vote, and pass the bills to the President (the teacher).

6. The President will either sign and pass the bills, veto the bills, or pocket veto the bills. At this point, if any of the bills violate school rules, the concept of the Supreme Court can be introduced in reference to the Principal, who may strike down any offending bills.

7. If the bill is passed, the new law will be added to the classroom rules.

Evaluation

Students will complete a worksheet to assess their knowledge of the process a bill must go through to become a law. An example worksheet can be found here. This worksheet can be printed or filled out on the computer.

When asked, students will be able to verbally articulate the basic process a bill must go through to become a law.

Conclusion

After completing this lesson as part of a unit on Government, students will have a better understanding of government, Congress, and laws. Additional resources can be found at the clerk.gov website, as well as the usa.gov website.

Credits

kids.clerk.house.gov

kids.usa.gov

Flashcardmachine

Schoolhouse Rock via YouTube

Google Forms

Credits:

Created with images by Andrew Choy - "White House" • w100pebble - "justice statue lady justice" • jarmoluk - "apple education school" • AlexanderStein - "paperclip clip office" • succo - "hammer horizontal court"

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