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Legislative Branch Webquest
 

Legislative Branch Webquest

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This is a webquest on participation in the legislative branch.

This is a webquest on participation in the legislative branch.

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    Legislative Branch Webquest Legislative Branch Webquest Presentation Transcript

    • Getting Familiar with Congress Student Page Title Introduction Process Process cnt’d Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] A WebQuest for 11th grade Civics/Government Designed by Brent Marshall [email_address] Based on a template from The WebQuest Page
    • Introduction Student Page Title Introduction Process Process cnt’d Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] The legislative branch is arguably the most important branch of government. Its purpose is outlined in article I of the Constitution. The members of the legislature are directly elected by, and responsible to, the general public. You will look at current issues being debated in the legislature, and have to make up your mind on at least one issue. You will then contact a person in the legislature and either convince or reinforce their p;position on the issue. The Task By the end of this activity students will be familiar with their the two houses of congress as well as be familiar with their elected officials. They will see what is being currently debated in the house and how bills become laws. In writing to a member of congress they will argue their side of an issue and try and change or reinforce an officials position on an issue. Participation is a major part of government and this activity will allow students to familiarize themselves with the process.
    • The Process Student Page Introduction Process Process cnt’d Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] Title
      • Day 1
      • Start by finding a bill that is currently being debated, or was recently debated.
        • You might look for issues on:
          • Lexis Nexis (Search Major Newspapers)
          • www.senate.gov
          • www.house.gov
      • After deciding on your topic, create a quick blog outlining:
        • What is your issue?
        • What are the two sides? (or more?)
        • Has this issue been debated in the past? (Supreme Court Cases, recent debate?)
        • What is your view on the issue, why?
      • Day 2
      • Today, you will become familiar with your representatives. To find information on the senate use www.senate.gov ; for the house use www.house. gov .
        • The Senate has 100 members, 2 for each state. Record (for your blog) the two senators from your state, as well as their party affiliation.
        • The Senate has 535 members. Record how many your state has and who is the representative for where you live.
      • Now, pick either your representative or one of your senators and research their views on the issue you chose, as well as 5 other major issues.
      • Create a blog summing up what you looked at today. Include:
        • The information from section point 1.
        • The elected official’s view on your issue.
        • The elected official’s views on 5 other issues.
        • Does the official’s view agree or disagree with your view on your issue? Is it the same for the other 5 issues you looked at?
    • The Process (continued) Student Page Title Introduction Process Process cnt’d Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ]
      • Day 3
      • Now that you know the issue as well as your chosen official’s view, make an impact. Write a letter to your official stating your position. Use the following guidelines to start
        • Who you are, (member of district, etc.)
        • State the issue
        • State your side
        • State the official’s position
        • Why it is important he keep the same opinion, or change opinions.
        • Use a template in Word for a formal letter.
      • You have the opition to really send (or e-mail) these letters. You will turn in one copy to me to grade, and if you want ME to send it, another clean copy.
    • Evaluation Example: Student Page Title Introduction Process Process cnt’d Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] Beginning 1 Developing 2 Accomplished 3 Exemplary 4 Score Blog Missing major components. Missing a major component of the blog. Has most of the required aspects of the blog The blog has all required aspects. Shows thoughtfulness in responses. Possible Points: 40 Letter - Argument Doesn’t have an argument. States issue. Argues their own side. States issue well. Aruges own side well. States convincing arguments. States issue clearly. Argues own side convincingly. States and refutes other sides views. States specific evidence. Possible Points: 40 Letter - form and tone Unprofessional tone and style. Somewhat professional tone. Wrong Form. Somewhat professional tone. Proper form. Professional, scholarly tone. Has the form of a formal letter. Possible Points: 15 Letter - Mechanics 7+ Errors 5-6 Errors 3-4 Errors 0-2 Errors Possible Points: 5
    • Conclusion Student Page Title Introduction Process Process cnt’d Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] After completing this activity, you will be familiar with a major institution in our government - the congress. Having written a letter to an elected official, you have learned how to be an active participant in the government.
    • Credits & References Student Page Title Introduction Process Process cnt’d Evaluation Conclusion Credits [ Teacher Page ] www.senate.gov www.house.gov Library of Congress www.loc.gov Specific official’s official sites C-Span
    • Getting Familiar With Congress [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page A WebQuest for 11th Grade Civic/Governmnet Designed by Brent Marshall [email_address] Based on a template from The WebQuest Page Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Introduction (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page This is a lesson to introduce students to the legislative branch of congress. It will familiarize them with their elected officials, as well as show them how to research major debates in Congress. It culminates with a letter to a member of Congress. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Learners (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page This lesson would be for a High School Government class. The older the students, the better, as students will be getting closer to voting age. The webquest would be used to change the pace a little in what can be a dull class. It will augment other instruction about the legislature, and really act as the first experience in actively participating in government. Prior to the activity students will need to be familiar with some of the principles of government. Throwing this at them and telling them to figure it out would not work. After some discussion about the basics, this would be a great way to further their understanding by looking at real examples. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Civics Standards [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page
      • Standard One:
      • Students understand the purposes of government, and the basic Constitutional principles of the United States republican form of government.
      • Standard Two:
      • Students know the structure and function of local, state and national government and how citizen involvement shapes public policy.
      • Standard Four:
      • Students understand how citizens exercise the rules, rights and responsibilities of participation in civic life at all levels - - local, state, and national.
      Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • The Process (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page Use the Student version of the process . The teacher might offer several opportunities for going further for advanced students. One possible idea would be to have students watch a debate over an issue on CSPAN. After watching they would record the major arguments, as well as who gave the arguments. They would then record the information in their blog. It would be a good opportunity to offer extra credit. The process should only take about 3 days, and if a student misses a day it should be easy enough to make up at home or in the library. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Resources (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page To augment this activity you would definitely teach a unit on the legislature. This activity could come at the end of a unit. It could even be used as an alternative assessment idea. The textbook would obviously be a good resource but some other websites as well. www.house.gov and www.senate.gov have some great resources on the two institutions. Using academic databases like lexis nexis is a great way to find some debate on issues in Congress. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Evaluation (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page I will know students have been successful in meeting the objectives of the activity by seeing their finished product. There will be several opportunities to see how they are doing by observing the blogs they will write each day they work on it. The letter, whether they want to send it or not, will show if they understand how to participate in government. It will also be an opportunity to practice argumentation and formal writing skills. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Teacher Script (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page This Activity does not need a full script. The teacher will need to present the whole activity as well as the expectations before they are even allowed in the computer lab. The sources that students will need are pretty limited so there shouldn’t be too much off-topic web surfing. The teacher might want to focus on preparing students for writing a letter to a congressman or woman. You will want to make your expectations known for formality. It will also require that you have already set up blogs with your students. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Conclusion (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page This activity would be a great change of pace from typical instruction in Civics. It could be an assessment for the end of a unit on the legislative branch. This is a great step for students to learn as they are about to enter the voting population. Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion
    • Credits & References (Teacher) [ Student Page ] Title Introduction Learners Standards Process Resources Credits Teacher Page Evaluation Teacher Script Conclusion www.senate.gov www.house.gov Library of Congress www.loc.gov Specific official’s official sites C-Span