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SED

480 UNIT PLAN 1


HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CONGRESS

11TH-12TH GRADE GOVERNMENT

Erin Beals

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY

SED 480

SPRING 2018
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STAGE 1 GOALS
I. Unit Overview:

This high school Government unit will serve as an introduction to the structure and

functions of the United States Congress in order to establish an understanding of how and to

what extent the federal legislative body is at the service of the American people. Students will

analyze the laws and processes on which Congress operates to interpret its strengths,

weaknesses and functionality overall. The basis of this analysis will focus on Congress’s history,

structure, and roles, along with the influence of politics on the Congress. Integral to this unit is

the use of several comprehensive projects and writing assignments that allow students to

contextualize the concepts they will learn. Further aiding in the contextualization of the unit

will be the content of roughly the last quarter of the unit in which the rights of a United States

citizen are previewed.

The decision to include an introduction on American citizens’ rights in a Congress unit

was made in order to emphasize the powers of the legislative branch of government relative to

the powers of the individual. When teaching the functions of Congress, it serves little purpose

to exclude the effects of those functions on the Congressional constituents whom Congress is

meant to represent. This unit is a tool to illustrate to students that while the Congress has a

great deal of power, so do citizens, as outlined in the Constitution and in various laws. Several

activities throughout the unit will emphasize this point and will give students who choose to be

active, informed citizens the resources they need to ensure that they have a voice in the

American legislative process, should they choose to exercise it.


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II. Enduring Understanding: The structure and functions of the Congress subject it to

distractions from its role as a legislative body representative of the American public, but

individuals can aid in correcting this with an understanding and implementation of the rights of

an American citizen.

III. Essential Questions:

1.) What is the structure and the function of Congress and what are the responsibilities of

the Congress and its members?

2.) What is the role of politics in the Congress and how do politics get in the way of the

responsibilities and functionality of the Congress?

3.) How can citizens exercise their rights and what rights specifically can they exercise to

make an impact on the proceedings of Congress?

IV. Key Concepts:

• Gerrymandering- A manipulation of congressional voting district boundaries in order to

favor a political party.

• Pork Barrel- A political action taken to win the approval of constituents by providing

beneficial policies or funding for the congressional district in question.

• Logrolling- The custom of voting in favor of legislation in exchange for a political

courtesy.

• Apportionment- The process by which the number of House representatives a state is

granted is determined. This determination is informed by the most recent census.


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• Speaker of the House- The appointed leader of the House of Representatives. He or she

must be a member of the current House majority party and is voted into the Speaker

position by his or her peers in the majority party.

• Majority Leader- The two leaders of the majority party in the House and in the Senate.

• Majority Whip- A key figure in the House and the Senate who keeps track of how

legislators plan to vote for a certain piece of legislation for the majority party.

• Minority Leader- The two leaders of the minority party in the House and in the Senate.

• Minority Whip- A key figure in the House and the Senate who keeps track of how

legislators plan to vote for a certain piece of legislation for the minority party.

• President of the Senate- A role that belongs to the Vice President. While the role is

mostly ceremonial, whoever fills it is tasked with the critical yet rare responsibility of

breaking ties.

• President Pro Tempore- A member of the majority party elected to act in the place of

the Vice President in his or her absence. The daily governing of the Senate is usually the

responsibility of the President Pro Tempore.

• Franking Privilege- A privilege granted to federal legislators to waive the cost of

postage. This is an instrumental advantage in congressional elections.

• Bicameral Structure- The structure of the United States Congress, one that allows for

two chambers—the House and the Senate.

• Federalism- A system of government in which there are separate federal and state

governments. Different powers belong to the federal and the state governments.

• Home-style/Hill Style- The different attitudes and priorities that legislators adopt while

in their home district or in Washington D.C.


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• Filibuster- A protest option available to Senators employed to stall the vote on a Bill of

which he or she does not approve.

• Congressional Committees- Types of groups in Congress tasked with certain

responsibilities.

• Gridlock- The inability to make political progress because of unresolved partisan issues

and the failure to compromise.

V. Standards:

Arizona K-12 Standards for Social Studies

Strand 1—American History, Concept One: Research Skills for History

PO 6: Apply the skills of historical analysis to current social, political,

geographic, and economic issues facing the world.

PO 7: Compare present events with past events:

a. cause and effect

b. change over time

c. different points of view

Strand 3—Civics/Government, Concept 2: Structure of Government

PO 3: Examine the United States federal system of government:

a. powers of the national government

b. powers of the state governments

c. powers of the people

PO 5: Analyze the structure, powers, and roles of the legislative branch of the

United States government:

a. specific powers delegated in Article I of the Constitution


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b. role of competing factions and development of political parties

c. lawmaking process

d. different roles of Senate and House

e. election process and types of representation

f. influence of staff, lobbyists, special interest groups and political action

committees (PACs)

Strand 3—Civics/Government, Concept 3: Functions of Government

PO 1: Analyze the functions of government as defined in the Preamble to the

Constitution.

Strand 3—Civics/Government, Concept 4: Rights, Responsibilities and Roles

of Citizenship

PO 1: Analyze basic individual rights and freedoms guaranteed by Amendments

and laws:

a. freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition in the First

Amendment

b. right to bear arms in the Second Amendment

c. Ninth Amendment and guarantee of people’s unspecified rights

d. civil rights in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments

e. voting rights in the Fifteenth, Nineteenth, Twenty-third, Twenty fourth,

and Twenty sixth Amendments; Native American citizenship and voting

rights (Arizona, 1948); Voting Rights Act of 1965


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f. conflicts which occur between rights (e.g., the tensions between the

right to a fair trial and freedom of the press, and between majority rule and

individual rights)

g. right to work laws

PO 2: Define citizenship according to the Fourteenth Amendment.

PO 3: Examine the basic political, social responsibilities of citizenship:

a. connections between self-interest, the common good, and the essential

element of civic virtue (e.g., George Washington’s Farewell Speech),

volunteerism

b. obligations of upholding the Constitution

c. obeying the law, serving on juries, paying taxes, voting, and military

service

d. analyzing public issues, policy making, and evaluating candidates

PO 4: Demonstrate the skills and knowledge (e.g., group problem solving, public

speaking, petitioning and protesting) needed to accomplish public purposes

Strand 5—Economics, Concept Two: Microeconomics

PO 3: Describe how government policies influence the economy:

a. need to compare costs and benefits of government policies before taking

action

Arizona K-12 Standards for English Language Arts


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11-12.RI.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in

different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in print in

order to address a question or solve a problem.

11-12.RI.9: Analyze foundational U.S. and world documents of historical and

literary significance for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

11-12.W.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics

or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of

the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims,

and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s),

counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying

the most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and

limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge

level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the

major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships

between claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between

claim(s) and counterclaims.

d. Establish and maintain a style and tone appropriate to the norms and

conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and

supports the argument presented.


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11-12.W.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex

ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective

selection, organization, and analysis of content.

a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information so

that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified

whole; include formatting, graphics, and multimedia when useful for

comprehension.

b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most significant and

relevant facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other

information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the

topic.

c. Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major

sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among

complex ideas and concepts.

d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and rhetorical

techniques to manage the complexity of the topic.

e. Establish and maintain a style and tone appropriate to the norms and

conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and

supports the information or explanation presented (e.g., articulating

implications or the significance of the topic).

11-12.W.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer

a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or


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broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject,

demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

11-12.W.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support

analysis, reflection, and research.

Arizona 9-12 Standards for Educational Technology

Concept 1: Knowledge and Ideas

PO 1: Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize information to generate new ideas,

processes, or products.

Concept 2: Models and Simulations

PO 1: Predict and test the relationships amongst interdependent elements of a

digital model, simulation or system.

Concept 4: Original Works

PO 1: Create innovative products or projects using digital tools to express

original ideas.

PO 2: Use digital collaborative tools to synthesize information, produce original

works, and express ideas.

Arizona Standards for College and Career Readiness

11-12.RH.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse

formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to

address a question or solve a problem.

. 11-12.RH.9
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Integrate information from diverse sources, both primary and secondary, into a

coherent understanding of an idea or event, noting discrepancies among sources.

VI. Objectives:

1.) Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today.

2.) Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved.

3.) Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government spending and the consequences of cutting or raising the federal budget for

programs and policies reliant on the government for funding.

4.) Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer to demonstrate their mastery of

the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and the House

of Representatives.

5.) Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator.

6.) Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties, how these forms of
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expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur.

7.) Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not.

8.) Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively construct and attempt to

pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to

demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees

within the structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and

effectively work together to craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what

they perceive to be in the public’s best interest.

9.) Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research relevant

topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive

writing skills and to practice informed civic engagement.

10.) Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is.

11.) Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role
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in who gets elected to Congress and who does not.

STAGE 2 ASSESSMENTS

I. This unit will include a variety of assessments designed to gauge student comprehension

on the structure and role of the United States Congress and what measures citizens can take to

recognize their rights and liberties and influence the lawmaking process. The main formative

assessments included in this unit are graphic organizers, online simulators, guided notes and

journal entries that are designed to organize students’ thinking for other formative homework

assignments such as essays and a PowerPoint. Graphic organizers aid students in visualization of

new material, while guided notes serve the primary focus of helping students organize new

information. Journal entries, in addition to helping students organize their thoughts for

homework assignments, are also intended to boost students’ writing skills and content

comprehension by repetitive practice. Finally, online simulators are a tool used in this unit to

encourage active student engagement in their learning process.

In addition to the formative assessments in this unit, the unit will also include a

summative assessment in the form of a unit exam and a performance assessment in the form of a

mock congress unit project. The unit exam will tie together all the projected student learning

outcomes. It will include a variety of different types of questions, including multiple choice, fill

in the blank, short answer and true or false. The mock congress unit project will similarly include

learning objectives throughout the unit and engage students in the process of lawmaking. The

main goal of all of the assessments in the unit is to immerse students in the process of learning

about the United States Congress, making them active rather than passive learners.

II. Formative Assessments


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Graphic Organizers

Throughout the unit, students will use a variety of graphic organizers, including but not limited

to pie charts and Venn Diagrams as a way of visualizing the new information they learn. This

method of organization will help students spot key trends and similarities and differences, while

additionally providing them with another tool useful for knowledge retention by varying how the

information is presented. The graphic organizers will in some cases be used in addition to the

primary daily activity in order to organize students’ thoughts for the main activity, give students

another way of remembering material or serve as a reflection to be completed after the main

activity has been completed.

Examples include:

1.) Objective: Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to

eradicate the national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government spending and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs and

policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

Graphic Organizer Utilization: Once the online simulator activity has been completed, students

will then reflect on what they have learned that day and create a pie chart detailing how they

would divide the national budget. The students will be required to write a reflection explaining

why they divided the national budget the way they did, referencing information from the class

discussions, the instructor’s PowerPoint and the online simulator.

2.) Objective: Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate

their mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and the

House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)


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Graphic Organizer Utilization: By incorporating a graphic organizer into a lesson on the

similarities and differences of the House and the Senate, the students will be able to better

envision the structure of Congress. This will be a useful tool when reviewing for the unit exam

and for long term retention.

3.) Objective: Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and

responsibilities of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a

representative in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

Graphic Organizer Utilization: In order to come to a conclusion about the balance of a member

of Congress’s roles and responsibilities to both his or her constituents and to his or her positions

in Congressional committees, students creating a Venn Diagram will help them weigh the

different roles and responsibilities. Visually organizing these differences will help them decide

what a member of Congress should prioritize and why, referencing prior knowledge of a member

of Congress’s roles outlined in the Constitution and the partisan pressures of Congress. By

completing this activity, students will be able to formulate their own opinions on how well

current members of Congress balance their roles and responsibilities.

Online Simulators

Online simulators are a great tool to incorporate into a civics classroom as they allow students to

experiment with a variety of political and other government-related factors to discover how

altering factors yields drastically different results. Online simulators allow students to learn by

doing, which is an integral learning strategy in a social studies classroom. In this unit, students

will use two different online simulations that will illustrate the make-up of Congress and

Congress’s dilemma with the national budget.

Examples include:
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1.) Objective: Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in

order to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and to

display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)

Online Simulator Utilization: Allowing students to use their knowledge of gerrymandering to

come up with their own solutions to redraw districts achieves two results: Firstly, students’

comprehension of gerrymandering is made clear to the instructor based on how they redrew

Congressional districts and how they justified their process and secondly, students are actively

engaged in their learning of a new topic.

2.) Objective: Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to

eradicate the national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government spending and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs and

policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

Online Simulator Utilization: This highly visual simulator program uses a metaphor of a sinking

ship to represent the national debt. Students have to compromise on issues that they choose in the

beginning of the simulation in order to prevent the ship from sinking. This program is a fantastic

way to emphasize to students the importance of bipartisan cooperation and the need to

compromise on some desirable solutions to issues in favor of addressing more important issues.

The simulator measures student comprehension of gridlock and its repercussions and how much

cooperation and sacrifice it takes to create a successful federal budget.

Guided Notes

Guided notes are used in this unit in order to highlight main ideas, to organize students’ thought

processes and to encourage students’ focus during a lesson. They are also incredibly useful study

tools to be referenced when studying for the unit exam.


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Examples include:

1.) Objective: Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

Guided Notes Utilization: As this lesson is the first in the Congress unit, the use of guided notes

will help students organize a large amount of new information presented to them. If they are in

need of a reminder of any basic information on the Congress throughout the unit, this set of notes

will prove very advantageous.

2.) Objective: Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively construct and

attempt to pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to

demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees within the

structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and effectively work together to

craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what they perceive to be in the public’s

best interest. (OBJ 8)

Guided Notes Utilization: In preparation for and during the process of the unit’s project, the

mock congress, students will use different sets guided notes to organize their thoughts and

responsibilities. Using these guided notes will help them utilize prior knowledge and keep all

information relevant to the project in one place.

3.) Objective: Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role

in who gets elected to Congress and who does not. (OBJ 11)

Guided Notes Utilization: As the financial aspects on which Congress operates can easily

become confusing, students will use guided notes during this lesson for more guaranteed
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organization. Having a structured learning process during this lesson especially will help with

retention and clearly describe money’s part in Congressional elections.

Journal Entries

As writing is heavily integrated into this unit, students will be required to respond to prompts

written and posted by the instructor in their journals or notebooks for this course on a regular

basis. Not only will these entries help assess student comprehension, but they will also be useful

for fleshing out thoughts and ideas for later, more summative projects and essays.

Examples include:

1.) Objective: Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three

different prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill style

duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and downfalls of

Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual role of a United States

legislator. (OBJ 5)

Journal Entry Utilization: In preparation for writing this essay in the future, to get them into an

appropriate headspace ahead of writing the formal essay on this topic, students will for five to

ten minutes be asked to respond to the following prompt: When voting as a federal legislator on

a bill, is it more important to vote in a way that is representative of one’s home district or state or

to vote in a way that favors how more senior legislators expect one to vote? Why? Is a legislator

performing his or her role as a representative appropriately if he or she votes against the views of

his or her constituents? What factors affect a legislator’s decision to vote against his or her

constituents’ wishes? Do you agree or disagree that it is necessary to vote against one’s

constituents’ best interests in order to aim for a greater good?


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2.) Objective: Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a

controversial Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration

or continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an informed,

balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher how the values and

needs of the country have changed over time and whether the government has been a reflection

of that or not. (OBJ 7)

Journal Entry Utilization: In preparation for writing this essay assigned for homework, students

will be asked to respond to the following prompt at the beginning of the class period: Can you

think of aspects of Congress that are outdated or even dysfunctional? Has the government

adapted to the changing values and needs of the country? In what ways has or has it not?

3.) Objective: Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research

relevant topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive writing

skills and to practice informed civic engagement. (OBJ 9)

Journal Entry Utilization: In preparation for writing this letter, students will be asked to respond

to the following prompt at the beginning of the class period: Is informed civic engagement

important for every citizen to practice? Why or why not? What is the potential impact of

informed civic engagement?

III. Summative Assessments

Unit Exam

Multiple Choice Questions:

Examples:
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1.) Which of the following is not an advantage a United States Congressional incumbent has

when running for reelection? (OBJ 11)

a. Franking privilege

b. Name recognition

c. Voter discontent P

d. Institutional support

e. Campaign finance resources

2.) Senators employ their right to filibuster in order to (OBJ 8)

a. Raise money for their reelection campaigns

b. Delay voting on a piece of legislation P

c. Earn a spot on the Congressional committee of their choice

d. Draw Congressional districts in favor of their party

e. Break up Congressional gridlock

3.) Which of the following is an example of civic engagement? (OBJ 9)

a. Voting

b. Community service

c. Protests

d. Communicating wants and needs to one’s representative

e. All of the above P

4.) All of the following are examples of civil liberties granted to all United States citizens

except: (OBJ 6)

a. The right to free speech

b. The right to protection from discrimination P


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c. The right to vote

d. The right to privacy

e. The right to assemble

Short Answer Questions:

Examples:

1.) Explain in 8-10 sentences why amending the national budget is so difficult for legislators.

(OBJ 3)

Acceptable answers include but are not limited to written explanations of:

• Congressional gridlock

• The consequences of cutting funding to one area in favor of another

• Public disapproval of alterations to areas that receive large portions of the

federal budget

• The current budget process allowing lawmakers to postpone addressing

the budget

2.) Answer the following question in 5-7 sentences: What are the differences between a

member of Congress’s roles and responsibilities as a representative and as a

Congressional committee member? Should a member of Congress devote more energy to

his or her constituents or to the citizens who benefit from the committee to which a

member of Congress belongs? Why? (OBJ 10)

Students will receive full credit for their answers to this question as long as they

list the differences in roles and responsibilities and thoroughly justify their

answers to where a member of Congress should devote his or her attention using

information they have learned during the unit.


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3.) Answer the following question in 5-7 sentences: Is the Congress outdated? If so, in what

ways and how can Congressional structures or proceedings be modified to meet the

current needs and align with the current values of America? If not, explain why you think

Congressional approval ratings are so misleadingly low and how the Congress remains an

effective institution. (OBJ 7)

Students will receive full credit as long as they present logical answers that

reference course material and provide thorough justifications for their answers.

Fill in the Blank Questions:

Examples:

1.) ________________ is a manipulation of congressional voting district boundaries in order

to favor a political party. (OBJ 2)

Answer: Gerrymandering

2.) The different attitudes and priorities that legislators adopt while in their home district or

in Washington D.C. are known as a member of Congress’s _______________ and

_________________. (OBJ 5)

Answers: home-style and Hill style

3.) ______________ is a system of government in which there are separate national and state

governments. Different powers belong to the national and the state governments. (OBJ 5)

Answer: Federalism

True/False Questions:

If the answer is false, students will be asked to correct the false portion of the statement

Examples:

1.) The sitting Vice President serves as the Speaker of the House. (OBJ 1)
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Answer: False—the sitting Vice President serves as the President

of the Senate.

2.) The House has the authority to impeach officials, while the Senate is tasked with trying

impeachment hearings. (OBJ 4)

Answer: True

IV. Performance Assessment Description

Unit Project: Mock Congress

Unit Project Objective: Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively

construct and attempt to pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in

order to demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees

within the structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and effectively work

together to craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what they perceive to be in the

public’s best interest.

Unit Project Description:

This unit’s project will be a mock congress, where students will have the opportunity to

understand the legislative process from the perspective of federal lawmakers. Students will draw

straws to determine what their role in the mock house and senate will be and what party they will

represent. They then must sign up for at least three house committees. Once in their committees

approved by party leaders, students will begin work to draft legislation which they are passionate

about and that relates to at least one of their committees. Once their bills have been drafted,

students will need to propose their bill to their respective committees, and the committees will be

responsible for voting on the bill to see if it will move forward or die in committees. If a bill is

allowed to progress to the house floor for debate and voting, this process will take place the next
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day. After the house floor has decided which bills will continue on to the senate, it will

immediately go to the senate floor, as, in the interest of time, the committee process in the senate

will be skipped. Once the senate votes on legislation, the surviving legislation will go to the

president, who will either sign the legislation into law or veto it. At the end of each day, students

will be responsible for a reflective worksheet that will allow them to organize and connect prior

and new knowledge about the lawmaking process.

Unit Project Template

Signature Assignment Mock Trial (Mock Congress)

Standards:

Strand 3—Civics/Government, Concept 2: Structure of Government

-PO 5: Analyze the structure, powers, and roles of the legislative branch of the

United States government:

a. specific powers delegated in Article I of the Constitution

b. role of competing factions and development of political parties

c. lawmaking process

d. different roles of Senate and House

e. election process and types of representation

f. influence of staff, lobbyists, special interest groups and political action

committees (PACs)

-PO 4: Demonstrate the skills and knowledge (e.g., group problem solving, public

speaking, petitioning and protesting) needed to accomplish public purposes

Arizona K-12 Standards for English Language Arts


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 25
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
11-12.W.2: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and

convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and

accurately through the effective selection, organization, and

analysis of content.

a. Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and

information so that each new element builds on that which

precedes it to create a unified whole; include formatting,

graphics, and multimedia when useful for comprehension.

b. Develop the topic thoroughly by selecting the most

significant and relevant facts, extended definitions,

concrete details, quotations, or other information and

examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the

topic.

c. Use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link

the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify

the relationships among complex ideas and concepts.

d. Use precise language, domain-specific vocabulary, and

rhetorical techniques to manage the complexity of the

topic.

e. Establish and maintain a style and tone appropriate to the

norms and conventions of the discipline in which they are

writing.
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 26
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
f. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows

from and supports the information or explanation presented

(e.g., articulating implications or the significance of the

topic).

Objectives:

1.) Students will use a worksheet assigned prior to the mock congress and a reflection

worksheet once the mock congress has concluded in order to demonstrate their

understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees within the

structure of Congress.

2.) Students will use the mock congress process to work together to craft innovative and

research-backed policies based on what they perceive to be in the public’s best

interest and to persuasively argue in favor of their bill when presenting it to the rest of

the “House/Senate Floor” in order to create and defend a piece of legislation and to

develop the ability to respectfully, creatively and effectively work together toward the

same goal.

3.) Students will use the process of informative or explanatory writing to construct

legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to propose

potential solutions to issues they deem important, relying primarily on the use of

logos to strengthen their argument as much as possible in the effort to encourage

unbiased thinking on polarizing issues.


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 27
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
Overview:

Rather than employing the use of a traditional mock trial, a mock congress will be used in

the Congressional unit plan instead. While mock trials have enormous value and can be used

successfully in other subjects within social studies and other units in a government course, the

use of a mock trial would be difficult to execute within a unit that focuses on the Congress in a

way that enhances students’ comprehension of how the Congress operates. This mock congress

will be implemented in the Congressional unit plan with the intent of providing students with a

more complex, memorable and personal understanding of the inner workings of the United States

Congress. It will take place over the course of three days during which students will be

responsible for a variety of activities, including but not limited to demonstrating their prior

knowledge of how the Congress works, forming Congressional committees, drafting legislation,

presenting legislation to the floors of the House and the Senate, voting on their and their other

classmates’ bills and reflecting on the process at the end of the project. A successful completion

of this project will enhance students’ ability to collaborate with others, respectfully debate their

peers, employ logos to produce writing with limited bias and comprehend what the federal

lawmaking process is like. On the following page is the original template for the mock congress

that is borrowed from former Alliance Environmental Science and Technology High School

social studies teacher Stephanie Tsai. It will be modified slightly to better suit the needs of this

unit.
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 28
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS

Name:
Pd:
AP GOV – ESAT MOCK CONGRESS 2014
Welcome to Capitol Hill for the _________ term of Congress!



Congratulations on your recent election! All of your time spent campaigning and begging for
campaign contributions from ______________ and ______________________ have paid off. Beyond
the fabulous salary of $_______________/year, you’ll enjoy perks such as ______________________ ,
___________________________ and ______________________. You’ll serve your
__________________ by engaging in _______________________, ____________________________,
and ________________________________. Most critically to the nation, you will be engaging in
policymaking. Congress in convening in Washington DC for a session next week and you need to be
ready with proposed legislation (_________________).

Mock Congress – Accessing Prior Knowledge and Frontloading (Fri. 3/28 in class)

1. Draw a detailed diagram to demonstrate the process by which a bill becomes a law. Include any
key players and formal and informal processes along the way. Underline all key terms.






SED 480 UNIT PLAN 29
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS









Friday, 3/28: Role Selection for


LEADERSHIP IN THE HOUSE AND PARTY IDEOLOGY

The real House of Reps has __________ members who serve _________ year terms with _______
term limits. Our Mock House has _________ members. Just like in the current House, the party in
power is the _____________________ party.

Role: ______________________________________________
1. Chosen by the ________________ party members of the House to preside
(supervise) over it
2. Appoints select and conference committees.
3. Appoints House ____________________ Committee members and its chairman.
4. Assigns _________ to standing committees to be revised before full House
action.
5. Third in the line of succession for presidency after V.P.
6. Influences agenda of the House
7. Also possesses informal powers, e.g., access to media.

Role: ______________________________ and ____________________________ (2)
1. Partisan positions chosen by party members.
2. Floor leaders and legislative strategists.

Role: ______________________________ and ____________________________ (2)
1. Assistant floor leaders.
2. Inform party leaders on "mood" of House.
3. Keep nose count on important votes.
4. Persuade party members to vote with party.
5. Liaison between party leadership and rank and file membership.
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 30
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS

Role: Committee (5)
1. Sets legislative calendar (agenda) – “traffic cop” of the House
2. Issues rules for debate and amendment (__________ rule allows amendments
to bills; ____________ rule does not allow for amendments. Closed rule is
usually used on ________ (tax) bills.)

______________________________________________________________________________
__________________________

Party Ideology

Republicans Democrats

















Friday, 3/28: Role Selection for
COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS

For the purposes of our Mock Congress, we will have the following standing committees, which
are actual committees in the real House. Just like in the real House, each House member will serve on
several committees. In the real House, it is ___-___ committees. For our Mock Congress, you will serve
on ____ House committees.

Name of Name of Name of Name of Name of Name of Name of Name of
Standing Standing Standing Standing Standing Standing Standing Standing
Committee: Committee: Committee: Committee: Committee: Committee: Committee: Committee
House Rules House Ways Education Energy and Homeland Transportat-ion Science, (class choice
Committee and Means and the Commerce Security and Space, and from
Committee Workforce Committee Committee Infrastructure Technology http://www.h
Committee Committee Committee ouse.gov/com
mittees/):


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 31
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
Committee Committee Committee Committee Committee Committee Committee Committee
Chairman: Chairman: Chairman: Chairman: Chairman: Chairman: Chairman: Chairman:


Rank and Rank and Rank and Rank and Rank and Rank and File Rank and File Rank and File
File File File File File Members of Members of Members of
Members of Members of Members of Members of Members of the Committee: the the
the the the the the Committee: Committee:
Committee: Committee: Committee: Committee: Committee:





















Notes:
- Each committee must have a leader from the majority party and most of the committee’s
members must also be of the majority party (just like in the real House). Did we adhere to
these requirements?

- Each representative in our Mock Congress must serve on 3 committees. Did you sign up for 3
committees?





2. What are your assigned roles thus far in this simulation process? Do you have any specific
leadership roles? Which standing committees will you serve on in our Mock House? What types
of duties will you be expected to perform in the policymaking process? With whom will you be
interacting while Congress is in session?




SED 480 UNIT PLAN 32
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS

3. As a Republican or Democrat, which political/ideological principles do you stand behind?
(Examples: Are you a conservative who wants to cut taxes, reduce the scope of government, crack down
on criminals, etc.? Are you a liberal who supports the expansion of social welfare programs, wants to
extend amnesty to illegal immigrants, etc.?) Remember, you are role playing, so you do not have to
hold true to your own personal beliefs!






4. What is the purpose/function/focus of the standing committees you’ve been assigned to? Use
http://www.house.gov/committees/ as a resource.
Committee #1: Committee #2: Committee #3:






5. Research and brainstorming time! Use http://www.house.gov/committees/ as a resource. Jot
down three societal/governmental concerns that each of your standing committees might have
that you would be interested in writing a bill about.

Committee #1: Committee #2: Committee #3:
1. 1. 1.



2. 2. 2.



3. 3. 3.




Simulation Task -------- Friday, 3/28 Criteria for Success --------
Total pts.
Preparation: Did you Did you create a Do your responses to Do your responses
Completion of complete and detailed and frontloading to frontloading
reading notes, have in hand accurate questions 2 and 3 questions 4 and 5
Accessing Prior reading notes for diagram to fully demonstrate fully demonstrate
Chapters 12 and demonstrate your understanding your understanding
Knowledge, &
annotated Crash how a bill of the requirements of the standing
Frontloading Course on becomes a law? of your assigned committees and
Congress?
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 33
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
roles for the policies on which
simulation? you will be working?

Mock Congress – How to Write a Bill (Fri. 3/28 in-class and homework due Fri. April 4th)

After researching and brainstorming, you will draft 2-3 bills that are appropriate to your assigned
committees. The bills must be typed, written in complete sentences, formatted properly, printed (at
least 3-5 hard copies of each) and contain the following elements:


Title: Give your bill a descriptive title.
Subject: Add a one or two sentence description of the bill.
Number: Assign your bill a 4-digit number. (Bills are normally assigned a sequential number.)


Section 1: Definition of important terms.


Section 2: Explain the bill’s purpose. (Defend why we need this bill. Be sure to cite at least one piece
of research or factual evidence to defend why this bill is necessary. Describe who will be targeted by
the bill.)


Section 3: Describe the provisions of your bill. (In other words, what are the various pieces of your
bill?)


Section 4: Insert “pork” if you so desire. (Don’t know what this is? Look up pork barrel legislation!)


Section 5: Add a Penalty Clause. What will be the punishment if someone violates a provision of your
bill after it is turned into law? (This step may not be necessary for some bills, depending on the topic).


Section 6: Add an Appropriations Clause. Which department of the bureaucracy will be providing
funding for your bill? How will the financial aspect of this proposed law be funded?


Section 7: Add an Enactment Clause. (“Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of
the United States of America in Congress, that this bill will be enacted on…(insert date)).



Notes:
• Sample bills will be available for you to examine.
• Your 2-3 drafted bills will be due in hard copy on Friday, April 4 (3-5 printed copies of each).
Each should be 1-2 pages in length.

SED 480 UNIT PLAN 34
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
Simulation Task ---------- Friday, 4/4 Criteria for Success ----------
Total pts.
Drafts of bills Did you type 2-3 Do your bills Did you write bills Did you include
(Please note: complete bills, address real that reflect your relevant research
failure to write in complete problems in assigned committee and accurate facts
complete this sentences, and society and topics and political to support the
step will result follow the proper propose logical ideology? In other necessity for your
in inability to formatting solutions to fix words, are the bills bills? Were your
participate in demonstrated by the problems? pertinent (relevant) sources of
Day 1 of the sample bill? to your committee information cited?
simulation, Were your bills and are your
resulting in a Z printed in hard positions true to
assessment copy and your role-playing
grade) submitted during ideology?
class on Fri. 4/4?

Mock Congress Day 1 – House Standing Committee Work (Monday, 4/7 in class)

Steps for Committee Work:

1. Each Committee Chairman will decide and announce the time frame (within the 2 hour class
period) when the committee will meet. (Note: Some committee members will be double or
triple booked and therefore may not be able to make the meeting on time. This happens in the
real Congress too!)

2. The Committee Chairman decides who will present their bill first.

3. Each person on the committee will have the opportunity to present their bill to the committee.

4. For each bill, the committee members shall consider and pose the following questions to the
presenting representative:
a. Is this bill necessary?
b. Will the public approve of this idea? How many and what types of people will this bill
benefit?
c. Is this bill a good use of taxpayer money? Can you rationalize the amount being spent to
the public? Will it require the government to raise taxes?
d. Do the members of this standing committee support the idea?
e. Will this bill get bipartisan support?
f. Is the whole House likely to accept this idea?
g. Will the bill get the support of the Senate? What about the President?
h. What will it take to implement this bill if it turns into law?
i. Any other reasons you think this bill needs to “die” or be amended?

5. The committee will vote on the one bill they want to keep and pass on to the full House floor
debate. (Think: If your own committee does not believe in your bill, how can you convince the
rest of the House, Senate, President, or general public to accept it? Thus, most bills will die in
the committee process. Additionally, a bill could be pigeonholed – ignored and postponed
indefinitely – unless a discharge petition is used to get it out of committee and to the floor.)

SED 480 UNIT PLAN 35
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
6. By majority vote, the committee can decide to amend (make changes to) the bill. During the
mark-up session, earmarks are often added to the bill by various members of the committee.

7. You may do further research on the bill and meet with lobbyists who want to influence the
legislation.

8. You may also contact the president herself or her White House staff to ask if the Chief Executive
will extend her support to this bill.








Simulation Task ---------- Mon 4/7 Criteria for Success ----------
Total pts.
Assessment: Did you present Did your Did you actively Did your
Participation in and defend your committees participate in committees each
simulation of drafted bills to follow all of the discussions and design 1 well-
committee your committees? “Steps for revisions of the bills written and revised
Committee presented in your bill to present to
work and bill
Work”? committees? the House Rules
defense and Committee?
editing – Day 1

Mock Congress Post-lesson Reflection Day 1 (Monday 4/7)
(Use and underline relevant AP Government key terms whenever possible!)

1. Explain today’s class activities. What specifically happened within each of your standing
committees?
Committee #1: Committee #2: Committee #3:















2. Identify and explain your specific roles in the policymaking processes today.
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 36
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS







3. Explain any challenges, interesting revelations (A-ha! Moments), or enlightened understandings
you have about the way Congress, specifically the House of Reps, works as a result of today’s
activities.







4. What questions or areas of confusion do you currently have in regards to standing committees
and policymaking in the House of Representatives? What steps can you take to remedy these
areas of confusion?






Simulation Task ---------- Mon. 4/7 Criteria for Success ----------
Total pts.
Assessment: In your reflection, In your In your reflection, did Did you use and
Post-lesson did you reflection, did you identify underline relevant
reflection – demonstrate an you thoroughly challenges, AP Government key
Day 1 accurate describe your revelations, terms in your
understanding of roles and misconceptions, and descriptions of the

the day’s interactions honestly report out day’s simulation
simulation with other any remaining areas activities?
activities? members of our of confusion you may
mock Congress? have?
Mock Congress Day 2 - House Floor Debate (Wed. 4/9)

1. Agenda determined by House Rules Committee and influenced and led by Speaker of the
House.
2. Floor action is limited in time and nature by House Rules Committee.
3. Purpose of floor action is to debate and vote on bill to see if a majority will approve the bill.

Simulation Task ---------- Wed. 4/9 Criteria for Success ----------
Total pts.
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 37
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
Assessment: During floor Did you Did you actively Did your participation
Participation debate, did you demonstrate an engage in debate as a congressional
in simulation honor the rules accurate of the bills leader, party member,
– Day 2 and understanding of presented to the committee chairman,
expectations the rules and full House? Did etc. contribute to the

laid out by Mrs. procedures for floor you ask clarifying overall lawmaking
Tsai and your debate and voting questions of the process by actively
House leaders? procedures in the presenters to promoting,
House of make them compromising on, or
Representatives? explain and trying to stop a bill?
defend their bill?

Mock Congress Post-lesson Reflection Day 2 (Wed. 4/9)
(Use and underline relevant AP Government key terms whenever possible!)

1. Explain today’s class activities. What specifically happened during full House floor debate and
voting procedures?





2. Identify and explain your specific roles in the process today.




3. Explain any challenges, interesting revelations, or enlightened understandings you have about
the way Congress, specifically floor debate, works as a result of today’s activities.






4. What questions or areas of confusion do you still have in regards to committees, floor debate,
or Congressional policymaking in general?






Simulation Task ---------- Wed. 4/9 Criteria for Success ----------
Total pts.
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 38
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
Assessment: In your reflection, In your In your reflection, did Did you use and
Post-lesson did you reflection, did you identify underline relevant
reflection – demonstrate an you thoroughly challenges, AP Government key
Day 2 accurate describe your revelations, terms in your
understanding of roles and misconceptions, and descriptions of the

the day’s interactions with honestly report out day’s simulation
simulation other members any remaining areas activities?
activities? of our mock of confusion you may
Congress? have?
Friday, 4/11: Role Selection for
LEADERSHIP IN THE SENATE AND PARTY IDEOLOGY

The real Senate has __________ members who serve _________ year terms with _______ term
limits. Our Mock Senate has _________ members. Just like in the current Senate, the party in power is
the _____________________ party.

Role: ______________________________________________
1. Presides over Senate.
2. Breaks ties.

Role: ______________________________________________
1. Presides over Senate if VP is absent.
2. Breaks ties.

Role: ______________________________ and ____________________________ (2)
1. Partisan positions chosen by party members.
2. Floor leaders and legislative strategists.

Role: ______________________________ and ____________________________ (2)
1. Assistant floor leaders.
2. Inform party leaders on "mood" of Senate.
3. Keep nose count on important votes.
4. Persuade party members to vote with party.
5. Liaison between party leadership and rank and file membership.



______________________________________________________________________________
__________________________

Party Ideology

Republicans Democrats






SED 480 UNIT PLAN 39
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS










Note: Because you will already be VERY familiar with standing committee work from our House
simulation, we are skipping committee work in the Senate. It is important for you to know though that
committee work is the bulk of the work that takes place in both houses of the legislature. Also, bills can
be initiated in either house – the only exception being revenue (tax) bills which must start in the House
(in the Ways and Means committee) and then go to the Senate.



Mock Congress Day 3 - Senate Floor Debate, Conf. Committee, Presidential Signing or Veto (Fri. 4/11)

Senate floor action:


1. Agenda determined by Senate Majority Leader (working with Senate Minority
Leader)

2. Senate has unlimited debate; allows filibusters (talking bill to death). These are
especially effective at end of a term of Congress. Even threat of a filibuster is effective. It can
be ended by 3/5 vote of cloture.

3. Only Senate allows non-germane amendments ("riders"). Omnibus ("Christmas
tree")bills can result.

4. Senate allows any member to place a hold on a bill or nomination from the president.
a. Not in the Constitution, but another example of a Senate tradition. In the
past, this was a temporary delay so that, for example: 1) a Senator could
have more time to consider a bill, or 2) a Senator who was going to be absent
when a bill was considered would request that the bill be delayed until he
returned.
b. Use has been expanded in 90s as a tactic to kill bills and especially judicial
nominations.
c. Can be used anonymously.

5. Purpose of floor action is to debate and vote on bill to see if a majority will approve the
bill. (If it has already been passed by House of Reps, which for the purposes of our Mock
Congress it already will so it will then go to Conference Committee. It is important to know
that the process can take longer in the Senate due to unlimited debate and filibuster, so both
houses do not usually work at the same pace.)


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 40
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
Conference committee action: comprised of members from both houses, a temporary conference
committee reconciles different House-Senate versions of a bill, and then sends it back to
each house for a vote. Basically another “third house of Congress.”


Presidential action. The president has the following options:
- Sign the bill in full. Bill becomes a law.
- Veto the bill in full ---> can be overridden by 2/3 vote in both houses.
- Ignore the bill. After 10 days of sending bill to the President, the bill automatically
becomes law.
If, however, within that 10-day period, Congress adjourns (not recesses), the bill is
pocket-vetoed and does not become law.
- An outdated option (no longer legal): Congress gave the president a line item veto in the
mid-90s; however, this was struck down in Clinton v. NY (1998) as a violation of
separation of powers – in effect, use of the line item veto would have enabled the
president to legislate, a function reserved only for Congress. However, most
governors still do have the power of the line item veto.




Simulation Task ---------- Fri. 4/11 Criteria for Success ----------
Total pts.
Assessment: During floor Did you Did you actively Did your
Participation debate, did you demonstrate an engage in debate of participation as a
in simulation – honor the rules accurate the bills presented Senate leader, party
Day 3 and expectations understanding of to the full Senate? member, committee
laid out by Mrs. the rules and Did you ask chairman, etc.

Tsai and your procedures for clarifying questions contribute to the
Senate leaders? floor debate and of the presenters to overall lawmaking
voting make them explain process by actively
procedures in and defend their promoting,
the Senate? bill? compromising on, or
trying to kill a bill?

Mock Congress Post-lesson Reflection Day 3 (4/11)
(Use and underline relevant AP Government key terms whenever possible!)

1. Explain today’s class activities. What specifically happened during Senate floor debate, voting
procedures, and the fate of our proposed legislation?








2. Identify and explain your specific roles in the process today.
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 41
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS







3. Explain any challenges, interesting revelations, or enlightened understandings you have about
the way Congress works as a result of today’s activities.









4. What questions or areas of confusion do you still have in regards to floor debate in the Senate,
Conference Committee action, presidential vetoes, or Congressional policymaking in general?











Simulation Task ---------- Fri. 4/11 Criteria for Success ----------
Total pts.
Assessment: In your reflection, In your In your reflection, did Did you use and
Post-lesson did you reflection, did you identify underline relevant
reflection – demonstrate an you thoroughly challenges, AP Government key
Day 3 accurate describe your revelations, terms in your
understanding of roles and misconceptions, and descriptions of the

the day’s interactions honestly report out day’s simulation
simulation with other any remaining areas activities?
activities? members of our of confusion you may
mock Congress? have?

SED 480 UNIT PLAN 42
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
GRASPS

Goal: Students will understand the extended and complex process of how a piece of legislation
becomes a law.
Role: Students will play the roles of federal legislators of varying status and Congressional
committee members. One student will play the role of the president.
Audience and Situation: Students will present their legislation to their fellow committee
members and legislators present on the house and senate floors.
Product: The students will present their legislation, work together in committees and vote on
legislation in the hopes of having the legislation reach the president’s desk.
Standards and Criteria for Success: Students will be assessed according to the following
criteria:
• Preparedness—did the students complete the work that connects prior knowledge to the
project before the class periods? Did they draft legislation that is coherent and complete?
• Group Work—did the students work as a team to complete common goals and in a
respectful, inclusive manner? Did all students contribute an equal amount of work to the
project?
• Presentation—Did the students persuasively and professionally present their legislation to
their committees/the house and senate floors?
• Reflection—Did the students complete the reflection work that followed each day of
proceedings for the duration of the project, cementing their comprehension of the
lawmaking process?
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 43
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS

STAGE 3 LEARNING ACTIVITIES

This stage continued below includes:

I. The United Stated Congress Unit Calendar

A day-by-day outline of the entire unit and what lessons, objectives and

summative assignments will be included where

II. A Catalog of Lessons

Brief descriptions or abstracts of the instructional activities for each day,

including lesson titles, objectives and assessments, along with five samples of

detailed lesson plans in a variety of different styles (Direct Instruction, Inquiry

Based; Deliberative Discussion; People, Space and Time; Primary Sources)


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 44
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
I. The United States Congress Unit Calendar:

1 2 3 4 5
Unit Introduction and L2—A Collective L3—Operation Balance L4—The Gall of L5—The Many Hats of a
Overview Congress: A Bicameral the Federal Budget (OBJ Gerrymandering: A Federal Legislator Part
Legislature’s Purpose 3) Look into the Divisive One: Are Contrasting
Lesson 1 (L1) title and and Procedures (OBJ 4) Process (OBJ 2) Home Styles and Hill
objective (OBJ)—An Direct Instruction Styles Necessary or
Introduction to the Lesson Plan Inquiry Based Lesson Hypocritical? (OBJ 5)
United States Congress Plan
(OBJ 1) Homework: Redesigned Deliberative Discussion
federal budget pie chart Homework: 1-2 page Lesson Plan
and reflection, print and reflection with image of
add to this unit’s section your original district(s) Homework: 2-3 page
in your binder for this attached, print and add home style/Hill style
class to your class binder essay, hard copy due in
class Monday
6 7 8 9 10
L6—The Many Hats of L7—An Antiquated L8—Congressional Cash: L9—Power to the L 10—Power to the
a Federal Legislator Part Assembly: Congress’s Money’s Role in People Part One: The People Part Two: Types
Two: Determining a Preventions from Congress’s Elections and Invaluable Rights and of Civic Engagement, Its
Proper Balance as a Adapting to Changing Beyond (OBJ 11) Liberties of United Importance and Its Impact
Representative Working Times (OBJ 7) States Citizens/The Act (OBJ 9)
in Congressional of Protest (OBJ 6)
committees and for Primary Sources Introduce Mock Congress
Constituents (OBJ 10) Lesson Plan People, Space and Unit Project and assign
Time Lesson Plan roles/committees
Hard copy of L5 essays Homework: 1-2 page Abstract
due short persuasive essay Homework: Mock
on why a chosen Homework: PowerPoint Congress Unit Project
controversial analyzing another photo preparation/organization
Congressional rule or of a protest or a protest assignments, complete
procedure should be song, due Monday and include in your class
renewed or expired, hard binder
copy due in class
Thursday

11 12 13 14 15
L 11—Unit Summative L 12—Unit Summative L 13—Unit Summative L 14—Unit Exam UNIT EXAM
Assessment 1: Assessment 1: The Assessment 1: The Review Day
Introduction to the Mock Congress Project Mock Congress Project Student binders with all
Mock Congress Unit cont’d. (OBJ 8) Conclusion (OBJ 8) Homework: Study for accompanying
Project (OBJ 8) tomorrow’s unit exam, assignments for this unit
Mock Trial Variation Mock Trial Variation prepare class binders to due
Mock Trial Variation be turned in
Homework: Finish the Homework: Complete the Homework: Finalize
Student L9 PowerPoints day in committee Mock Congress Unit returned in-progress
due reflection assignment, Project reflection letters from L10 class,
the pre floor debate assignments and add to bring hard copy on
Homework: Finish assignment and add to your binder Monday to wrap up unit
writing legislation if class binder. Prepare for closure
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 45
HIGH SCHOOL – THE CONGRESS
needed and prepare to participation in the
present your bills to your House and Senate floor
committees in class debates/votes tomorrow.
tomorrow.

II. Catalog of Lessons

Day 1

Lesson Title: “An Introduction to the United States Congress”

Objectives:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

Activities:

1.) Do Now: Students will respond to the following prompt in their journals for this course: In

your journals, write on your current impressions of Congress and rate, on a scale from one to

five, how much you think you understand about Congress as an institution.

2.) Interactive instruction presentation and discussion on the introductory information about

Congress. Students will follow along with the interactive presentation on their personal

computers and complete provided guided notes. Key information in interactive notes will be

discussed in groups and by the whole class. Students will be asked to share their

conclusions/connections formed in guided notes. Additionally, the instructor will circulate the

room while students are working on guided notes and ask students who most likely will not

volunteer to share with the class to ensure all students’ comprehension.

3.) Exit Ticket: Students will respond to the following prompt: Answer these questions in 5-7

sentences on a separate sheet of paper to turn in while leaving the classroom: 1.) What is one
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way that Congress’s history has shaped the current Congress? What has changed and why do you

think it has? What has stayed the same and why do you think it has?

Assessments:

Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the students’: verbal input

during class discussion, exit ticket responses and guided notes

Day 2

Lesson Title: A Collective Congress: A Bicameral Legislature’s Purpose and Procedures

Objectives:

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

Activities:

1.) Diagnostic Kahoot quiz

2.) Continue introductory interactive Congress presentation, but with students using a guiding

graphic organizer. Students will be asked to engage in think-pair-share several times throughout

the lesson.

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: Prior knowledge using their responses from the introductory Kahoot quiz, verbal input

during class discussion and think-pair-share and completion of their guiding graphic organizers
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Day 3

Lesson Title: Operation Balance the Federal Budget

Objectives:

• Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs

and policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

Federal Budget Lesson Plan

Author: Erin Beals

Content Area: Civics/Government

Grade Level: Grade 11-12

26 February 2018

Lesson Length: 60 min

I. Standards

Arizona K-12 Standards for Social Studies:

Strand 3—Civics/Government, Concept 4: Rights, Responsibilities and Roles

of Citizenship—PO 4: Demonstrate the skills and knowledge (e.g., group

problem solving, public speaking, petitioning and protesting) needed to

accomplish public purposes

Strand 5—Economics, Concept Two: Microeconomics—PO 3: Describe how

government policies influence the economy:

a. need to compare costs and benefits of government policies before taking

action
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Arizona K-12 Standards for English Language Arts:

11-12.W.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a

question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or

broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject,

demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

11-12.W.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support

analysis, reflection, and research.

Arizona 9-12 Standards for Educational Technology:

Concept 1: Knowledge and Ideas—PO 1: Analyze, evaluate, and synthesize

information to generate new ideas, processes, or products.

Concept 2: Models and Simulations—PO 1: Predict and test the relationships

amongst interdependent elements of a digital model, simulation or system.

II. Student-Friendly Objective

1. Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to

eradicate the national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of

the issue of government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the

budget for programs and policies reliant on the government for funding.

III. The Why

• Students will understand that the topic of government spending is one that is not easily

approachable because of potential political and social repercussions of making changes to

the budget.

• Students will use their prior knowledge about politics’ role in the Congress to gain a

deeper understanding of apportionment.


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• Students will further develop a sense of what is important to them personally by

examining how much the government spends in certain areas.

IV. Materials Needed

1.) A copy of a pie chart that details how much federal government spending goes where for

each student

2.) Personal computers

3.) Government textbooks

4.) Pens or pencils and notebooks

5.) A copy of a blank pie chart and instructions for a written reflection for homework for each

student

6.) Access to the internet

7.) Online simulator “Fiscal Ship” found at https://fiscalship.org/

8.) PowerPoint

V. Warm Up

• Upon entering the classroom, students will take their seats and the instructor will ask

them to analyze the federal spending pie chart already provided for each of them on their

desks.

• Once a few minutes have passed, ample time for looking over the pie chart, the instructor

will verbally alert students as to what the daily objective is and the importance and

relevance of the day’s lesson.

VI. Anticipatory Set/Grabber

The instructor will then ask students to envision themselves as a federal lawmaker answer the

following questions on a sheet of paper:


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a.) What surprised you when reviewing the federal budget?

b.) If you could, would you make any changes to it right now? What changes would you make?

c.) Do you think that the government should be spending more or less right now? Why?

VII. Instruction

• The instructor will stop the students after giving them an adequate amount of time to

thoroughly answer the questions from the anticipatory set and ask students to form

groups of no more than four.

• Once groups are formed, the instructor will ask each group to conduct a student-lead

discussion about their anticipatory responses. The instructor will remind students to

respect any differing opinions and to make sure to listen to each point made, rather than

waiting for their turn to speak. The teacher will serve as a sort of moderator walking

around to each group and making sure these expectations are met and emphasizing the

need for students to justify their answers or make an informed argument for any opinion

stated. The quality of these discussions and the points made will be treated as an

assessment.

• The class will then regroup to take notes on a quick PowerPoint created by the instructor

on the federal budget.

• Once the PowerPoint has concluded, students will be asked to take out their computers

and go to an online simulator that will prompt them to balance the federal budget, which

they will be allowed to navigate for the rest of class to come up with as many different

combinations of policy changes for solutions as possible.


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• While working on the simulator, the instructor will circle around the room and ask

guiding questions to make sure students understand the concepts presented to them and

clear up any confusion.

• In the last few minutes of class, the instructor will hand out and explain the worksheet

assigned for homework.

VIII. Assessment

The assessment portion of the lesson will happen continuously throughout the lesson, from the

instructor asking clarifying questions, to responses during group discussions, to work on the

online simulator. This is shown through the instruction portion of the lesson plan.

IX. Closure

Shortly before going over the homework, the instructor will ask students to return to their

answers to the introductory set and consider whether any of their responses have changed. The

instructor will then call on a few volunteers to ask them to share how their answers might have

changed and why. This will serve as a segue into explaining the homework, as in the written

reflection portion of their homework students will have to detail their takeaways from their group

discussions and the online simulator.

X. Independent practice/Homework

The students will be given the worksheet included at the end of the lesson to be completed as

homework. It will be due the next class period and will serve as a check for understanding

activity, a post-instruction assessment. Students will be graded on their grasp of the material as

well as their ability to justify their opinionated responses in the written reflection. The written

reflection should note any departure from opinions expressed in the anticipatory set and why any

opinions may have changed.


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XI. Reflection

How well the lesson is going will be constantly evaluated through the execution of the activities

of the lesson, as well as the worksheet assigned as homework.

Homework Worksheet

Instructions: Think back to the activities we completed in class covering the federal budget and

federal spending, especially the Fiscal Ship online activity and the anticipatory set questions on

the federal spending pie chart. You will now have the opportunity to redesign that pie chart in a

way that you see fit and in a way that is fiscally feasible (as in, your proposed budget must be

reasonable and could hypothetically be implemented if you had the power to do so). Think about

what issues the government spends money on that are important to you and that you think would

serve the public the best should they be allowed more funding. However, as covered in the online

simulator and in the PowerPoint, raising and cutting federal funds cannot occur without

consequences of some kind, so be sure to budget mindfully. On the back of this paper, write a 3-

4 paragraph reflection on why you designed the budget the way you did that is persuasive and

backed by research. Be sure to explain why any opinions of yours changed between the

anticipatory sets and completing this assignment.

*Pie Chart template would be attached if this worksheet were actually being assigned.

Day 4

Lesson Title: The Gall of Gerrymandering: A Look into the Divisive Process

Objectives:

• Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)


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Gerrymandering Lesson Plan

Author/: Erin Beals

Content Area: Civics/ Government

Grade Level: Grade 11/12

8 April 2018

Lesson Length: 60 min

I. Standards

Arizona K-12 Standards for Social Studies

Strand 3—Civics/Government, Concept 2: Structure of Government—PO 5:

Analyze the structure, powers, and roles of the legislative branch of the United

States government:

b. role of competing factions and development of political parties

e. election process and types of representation

f. influence of staff, lobbyists, special interest groups and political action

committees (PACs)

Arizona K-12 Standards for English Language Arts

11-12.RI.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in

different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in print in

order to address a question or solve a problem.

11-12.W.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support

analysis, reflection, and research.

Arizona 9-12 Standards for Educational Technology


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Concept 2: Models and Simulations—PO 1: Predict and test the relationships

amongst interdependent elements of a digital model, simulation or system.

II. Objectives

1.) Students will use an online simulator to redraw Congressional districts in order to

demonstrate an understanding of how politics influence and potentially obstruct the

Congressional election process in the United States

2.) Students will use the writing process to analyze and reflect on gerrymandering in the

United States in order to evaluate its flaws and propose solutions for a more fair

election process and representation.

III. The Why

• Students will use their prior knowledge of the role of politics in Congress to understand

how political parties can influence elections.

• Students will recognize that Congressional elections are not determined by the values of

the state alone—the outcome is largely due to how Congressional districts are drawn

• As they are juniors and seniors in high school and will be granted the right to vote

imminently, students will cultivate their own opinions and solutions regarding

gerrymandering considering their roles as future voters.

IV. Materials Needed

1.) Personal notebooks/journals

2.) Personal computers

3.) A satirical YouTube clip of a comical take on the process of gerrymandering

4.) Pens/pencils

5.) Access to the internet


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6.) Online simulator that allows students to redraw Congressional districts according to the

demographics of the state

7.) Instructional PowerPoint

V. Warm Up

• Upon entering the class, students will take their seats and get out their notebooks for the

class and a writing utensil.

• They will then be given about ten minutes to write a journal entry about their perception

of the role of politics in Congress and Congressional elections, based on both what they

have previously learned in the course and their own assumptions.

• Once the ten minutes is up, the instructor will draw the students’ attention to the board,

where the daily objective will be written, and verbally explain it, along with the purpose

of the lesson, stressing its importance and relevance to soon-to-be voters.

VI. Anticipatory Set/Grabber

The instructor will then play an amusing yet informative video clip detailing the practice of

gerrymandering. Once the video is over, students will partner up with the person sitting next to

them to discuss their journal entries and their thoughts on the video clip.

VII. Instruction

• After about five minutes of group discussion, the instructor will then ask the students to

regroup for a full class discussion. The instructor will ask students to share their

impressions of the video.

• Once the full class discussion winds down, the instructor will then transition to the use of

a PowerPoint for a brief lecture on the essential information on gerrymandering. The

instructor will ask questions that prompt students to make connections to prior knowledge
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and that gauge student understanding. Students will be expected to take notes on the

PowerPoint.

• Now equipped with the basic knowledge they need to complete the primary in-class

activity, students will be directed to a website with an online simulator that allows them

to redraw Congressional districts in a way that is more logical and sensitive to state

demographics than the current district shapes.

• While students are experimenting with the simulator, the instructor will circulate around

the room, answering any questions and asking why students are drawing the districts the

way they are. Students will be expected to be able to justify their drawings to the

instructor.

• Once students have created at least five districts that they are proud of, they will be asked

to write a 1-2 page reflection on what they have learned in class about gerrymandering

and propose a solution using one of their original districts as an example. Students will be

expected to describe the factors they took into account when drawing their district and

how they addressed those factors to create a district that would be fairly represented in

Congress.

VIII. Assessment

The assessment of how well students are understanding the material will happen continuously

throughout the class period. Group and class discussions will indicate students’ comprehension

level. Evidence of comprehension will also be present in successful interaction with the online

simulation and completion of the reflection.

IX. Closure
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With five minutes left in class, the instructor will ask students to stop working and regroup as a

class. The instructor will then ask for volunteers to share how they have chosen to divide up a

district and provide their rationale with the class. Students will also be asked to give their input

on how they think the makeup of Congress would change if the process of gerrymandering were

eradicated.

X. Independent Practice/Homework

The students will be instructed to finish what they have started regarding their reflections, which

will be due the following day. Students will be asked to include a screenshot of the

Congressional districts that they drew and referenced in their reflections.

XI. Reflection

The instructor will consistently reflect on the effectiveness of the lesson and be prepared to adapt

the lesson if it is evident that the students are struggling with comprehension. Once the lesson is

over, further reflection will take place when the instructor reads the students’ reflection. If

necessary, the instructor will review any concepts that are deemed unclear through the content of

the students’ writing in future lessons.

Day 5

Lesson Title: The Many Hats of a Federal Legislator Part One: Are Contrasting Home Styles

and Hill Styles Necessary or Hypocritical?

Objectives:

• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and
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downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

Home Style vs. Hill Style Deliberative Discussion Lesson Plan

Author: Erin Beals

Content Area: Civics/Government

Grade Level: Grade 11-12

Lesson Length: 60 min

I. Standards

Arizona K-12 Standards for Social Studies

Strand 1—American History, Concept One: Research Skills for History

PO 6: Apply the skills of historical analysis to current social, political,

geographic, and economic issues facing the world.

Strand 3—Civics/Government, Concept 4: Rights, Responsibilities and Roles

of Citizenship

PO 4: Demonstrate the skills and knowledge (e.g., group problem solving, public

speaking, petitioning and protesting) needed to accomplish public purposes


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Arizona K-12 Standards for English Language Arts

11-12.RI.7: Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in

different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in print in

order to address a question or solve a problem.

11-12.W.9: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support

analysis, reflection, and research.

II. Objective

1. Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator.

III. The Why

• Students will investigate the different legislative styles of representatives dependent on

whether representatives are in D.C. or their home districts/states to come to an

independent conclusion about the role of a legislator in reality and in theory, how the role

changes and whether representatives fulfill their roles in a satisfactory manner.

• Identifying differing home and Hill styles is useful for students who will soon be of legal

age to vote, because they will be able to determine how well their interests would be met

by looking for changes in words and actions of representatives.

IV. Materials Needed

1. Personal notebooks/journals
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2. A YouTube clip of a contentious John McCain town hall meeting

3. Writing utensils

4. Personal computers

5. List of examples of politically challenging situations for homework assignment

V. Warm Up

• Upon entering the classroom, students will take their seats and respond to the following

prompt in their journals: Journal about how a legislator might act or be influenced

differently depending on whether he or she is in D.C. or in his or her home district. This

entry will serve as a prewrite for the homework assignment.

• Students will be asked to share their thoughts with the person sitting next to them.

• The instructor will verbally state the daily objective, in addition to it being written on the

board.

VI. Anticipatory Set/Grabber

The instructor will then play a video of a heated town hall that portrays Senator John McCain

needing to justify his Hill style actions and decisions to his constituents. Once the video is over,

the instructor will ask for the students’ thoughts on it and any applicable follow-up questions.

VII. Instruction

• The instructor will then begin a short interactive Peardeck presentation that covers the

basics of different home style/Hill style legislative approaches. Once the basics are

covered, the instructor will ask students to discuss what the role of a legislator really is.

• Groups of no more than four will form to discuss the question, their opinions and any

opposing views.
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• The instructor will ask the groups to share their conclusions and will record them on the

board

• Students will be redirected to the Peardeck presentation where each group will be

assigned a link to a resource that provides a unique point of view on the matter. They will

be asked to click on the link, explore the resource and talk about what new perspective

this resource provided and if it was enough to impact their original answers in their same

small groups.

• After adequate discussion time has been provided, the class will reconvene for a full class

summary and discussion about the topic, what ideas changed and why as a debriefing

exercise.

VIII. Assessment

Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the students’: insightful

contributions made during the in-class deliberative discussion and the quality of their essays

assigned for homework.

IX. Closure

Exit Ticket: After our deliberative discussion in class today, what is the role of a member of

Congress? What should a MoCs primary objective be? Is it hypocritical to act and speak one way

at home and one way on the Hill? Is it necessary? In what ways?

X. Independent Practice/Homework

Essay Prompt: Write an essay that comes up with potential solutions to your choice from a

provided list of a politically challenging situation for legislators that cause them to navigate

opposing home style and Hill style duties (2-3 pages, due Monday).

XI. Reflection
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The effectiveness will consistently be assessed by the instructor by closely monitoring student

research and discussions. While ideally the instructor will not intervene too much in a

deliberative discussion, guiding questions will be used to get students back on track if needed.

Additionally, the quality and content of the students’ essays will be another indicator of how well

students comprehended the material.

Day 6

Lesson Title: The Many Hats of a Federal Legislator Part Two: Determining the Proper Balance

as a Representative for Both Congressional Committees and Constituents

Objectives:

• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and
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downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)

Activities:

1.) Do Now: Journal and share responding to the following prompt: A federal legislator was

elected to represent his home state or home district constituents. Upon arrival to Congress, his

major committee assignment not only does not align to the values and needs of his constituents,

it directly opposes them. What should he prioritize, committee work or his constituents? Why?

What are some reasons why he would not prioritize what he should?

2.) Student-led learning and discovery of the day’s topic, small group collaboration on research

that they will be in charge of conducting themselves and discussion with frequent input and

questions from the instructor

3.) Small group collaboration on Venn Diagram using the information they researched and

discussed

4.) Exit Ticket

• Exit Ticket: Respond to the following question in 5-7 sentences on a sheet of paper to

turn in at the end of class: After today’s class, did your views on where a representative’s

loyalty should lie? If so, how and why? If not, why not? Be sure to cite relevant

information from class

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: Ability to work together to research and come to conclusions on a new topic without a

straightforward method of instruction delivered to them by a teacher, participation in partner

discussion and group work, completed quality Venn Diagrams and exit ticket responses.

Day 7
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Lesson Title: An Antiquated Assembly: Congress’s Preventions from Adapting to Changing
Times

Objectives:

• Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not. (OBJ 7)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

Congressional Rules and Procedures Primary Sources Lesson Plan

Author: Erin Beals

Content Area: Civics/Government

Grade Level: Grade 11-12

Lesson Length: 60 min

I. Standards

Arizona K-12 Standards for Social Studies

Strand 1—American History, Concept One: Research Skills for History


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PO 6: Apply the skills of historical analysis to current social, political,

geographic, and economic issues facing the world.

PO 7: Compare present events with past events:

a. cause and effect

b. change over time

c. different points of view

Arizona K-12 Standards for English Language Arts

11-12.RI.9: Analyze foundational U.S. and world documents of historical and

literary significance for their themes, purposes, and rhetorical features.

11-12.W.1: Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics

or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.

a. Introduce precise, knowledgeable claim(s), establish the significance of

the claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims,

and create an organization that logically sequences claim(s),

counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.

b. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly and thoroughly, supplying the

most relevant evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and

limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge

level, concerns, values, and possible biases.

c. Use words, phrases, and clauses as well as varied syntax to link the major

sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships between

claim(s) and reasons, between reasons and evidence, and between claim(s)

and counterclaims.
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d. Establish and maintain a style and tone appropriate to the norms and

conventions of the discipline in which they are writing.

e. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports

the argument presented.

II. Objective

1. Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not.

III. The Why

• By comparing the past and present rules and procedures of Congress’s legislative branch

through primary and secondary sources, students will be able to determine if the

Congress is as representative of American citizens as it was intended to be.

IV. Materials Needed

1. Journals/Notebooks

2. Writing utensils

3. Personal computers

4. Access to online primary sources

5. SOAPS primary source templates

6. Passages from The Best of Intentions: The Triumphs and Failures of the Great Society

Under Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon by Irwin Unger


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V. Warm Up

Upon entering the classroom, students will be asked to journal responding to the following

prompt: What is Congress’s role as an institution? Do you think it is upholding its role currently?

Why or why not?

VI. Anticipatory Set/Grabber

After students have had a sufficient amount of time to journal their responses, the instructor will

ask students to partake in a mini deliberation on the day’s topic before introducing them to any

material or information on it. This deliberation will be opinion-based and will be an exercise to

reflect upon when writing an essay for homework. While the students will not have access to

information on the topic, they will be encouraged to reference their journal responses completed

earlier in the period and any applicable information previously covered in the unit. The guiding

topic of deliberation will be: Can you think of aspects of Congress that are outdated or even

dysfunctional? Has the government adapted to the changing values and needs of the country? In

what ways has or has it not?

VII. Instruction

1.) Once sufficient time is allotted for a student-led deliberation, students will be broken up into

groups of no more than four to begin primary and secondary source analysis.

2.) Every group will read Article 1 of the Interactive Congress, which is lightly annotated by

pointing out changes to the Constitution that have since been made.

3.) Once students within the group are finished they will individually fill out the SOAPS form.

Students will discuss their interpretations of the document and their SOAPS answers within their

groups once everyone is finished. They will be encouraged to keep in mind the role they think
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Congress was designed to serve and how the role has shifted to meet the changing needs of the

country.

4. Students will repeat this process with an example of Congress’s responsiveness to programs

laid out by the executive branch in the mid-20th Century. They will be asked to consider the

same questions, in addition to searching for possible motives for and potential benefits of such a

large push of legislation. They should also compare their impression of the new secondary

source with the primary source.

5. With about fifteen minutes left in class, the instructor will ask students to engage in a full

class discussion on their conclusions. Any viewpoints that have changed or any insightful

realizations or connections will be encouraged. The instructor will then assign the homework

essay and ask students to reflect on the class activities and sources when writing their papers.

VIII. Assessment

Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the students’: completion

of the SOAPS Primary Source Think Sheet, to be used as a pre-write/citation resource for the

essay assigned for homework, and the quality and content of their essays.

IX. Closure

The instructor will ask the class to regroup to have a brief discussion on student findings as a

closure activity.

X. Independent Practice/Homework

Essay Prompt: Choose one Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list that has some

controversy surrounding it regarding its appropriateness in the 21st Century and argue either for

its renewal or its expiration (1-2 pages, due Thursday)

XI. Reflection
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The reflection of how well the lesson is being received by students will be consistently

monitored by the instructor, who will be circulating the room during student-led discussions to

hear student insights and provide guidance when needed. The responses of the SOAPS forms and

the quality and content of student essays will also be indicators of student comprehension.

Day 8

Lesson Title: Congressional Cash: Money’s Role in Congress’s Elections and Beyond

Objectives:

• Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role

in who gets elected to Congress and who does not. (OBJ 11)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)

• Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs

and policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)


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• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)

Activities:

1.) Interactive presentation on Congressional finances that corresponds with guided notes

provided for the students to complete

2.) Information about and roles/committees assigned to students for upcoming Mock Congress

Unit Project at the end of the lesson, now that students have most of the information about

Congress itself they will need for the unit project. Students will be asked to start thinking about

legislation they would be interested in writing for the project.

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: Completion of guided notes and participation in class and partner discussion within the

presentation.

Day 9

Lesson Title: Power to the People Part 1: The Invaluable Rights and Liberties of United States
Citizens/The Act of Protest

Objectives:

• Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties and how these forms of

expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur. (OBJ 6)


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Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

Activities:

1.) Do Now: Journal and Share


• Journal in response to the following prompt: How can photos, songs or other similar

forms of expression capture the social, cultural or political strife of a time period? Why

do you think these expressions of current events resonate with people? What power do

they hold?

2.) Class discussion on journal entry prompt and responses

3.) Quick interactive presentation on rights and liberties, especially in the context of protest

4.) Completion of the People, Space and Time Image Analysis Worksheet on same assigned
photo for the whole class:

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https://mashable.com/2018/03/13/gun-violence-protest-shoes-congress/#NKuhU6QgTPqN

5.) Completion of annotation and analysis of a protest song of a student’s choosing from an
approved list

6.) Reconvene as whole class to discuss findings as closure and to help with guidance on the
homework assignment

7.) Assign homework
• Homework: Find a photo of another protest or choose another protest song from the

approved list. Create an in-depth analysis PowerPoint about the photo or song you chose.

In the PowerPoint be sure to include a detailed analysis on the first few slides (backed by

research), why you chose the image or song you did, how it expresses the public attitude

of the time, what rights or liberties are either alluded to or addressed directly in the piece,

what rights or liberties made piece possible and how more creative mediums such as

photography or music can be an effective form of protest, inspire protest or reflect on

protest. What rights or liberties could be compromised or even nonexistent if these forms

of expression were forbidden? How do these mediums both capture and cause reactions?
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How does this exposure serve as a both a protection and demand of our rights and

liberties?

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: Completion of the People, Space and Time Image Analysis Worksheet; Completion of

annotation and analysis of a protest song from an approved list.

Day 10

Lesson Title: Power to the People Part 2: Types of Civic Engagement, Its Importance and Its
Impact

Objectives:

• Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research relevant

topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive

writing skills and to practice informed civic engagement. (OBJ 9)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

• Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties and how these forms of

expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur. (OBJ 6)


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• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

Activities:

1.) Yes or no opening activity and student deliberation while partnered up.

• Directions for the yes or no activity: For each activity on a list provided for you, write yes

or no in regard to whether you think the activity is a type of civic engagement. Be

prepared to compare answers with a partner and to participate in a class discussion about

what civic engagement and its purpose is.

2.) Class discussion on basics of civic engagement

3.) Conduct in-class research on civic engagement

4.) Write short but research-backed letter to an appropriate member of Congress about issues

students are passionate about, which students will edit and send once revisiting it at the end of

the unit as part of unit closure and connection of content to the real world.

5.) Instructor will explain what tomorrow will look like as the first day of the Mock Congress

and assign accompanying homework

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: completion of civic engagement research, discussion participation and writing a

researched-backed letter to a member of Congress.

Day 11

Lesson Title: Unit Summative Assessment 1: Introduction to the Mock Congress Unit Project

Objectives:
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• Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively construct and attempt to

pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to

demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees

within the structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and

effectively work together to craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what

they perceive to be in the public’s best interest. (OBJ 8)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)

• Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs

and policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill
SED 480 UNIT PLAN 76
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style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)

• Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties and how these forms of

expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur. (OBJ 6)

• Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not. (OBJ 7)

• Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research relevant

topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive

writing skills and to practice informed civic engagement. (OBJ 9)

• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

• Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role

in who gets elected to Congress and who does not. (OBJ 11)
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Activities:

1.) Student meetings with fellow committee members that were chosen at random, along with

what committees and roles students received

2.) Committees will discuss what their purposes are and what kind of legislation they would

likely draft

3.) Students then transition into individual research for legislation they want to write on their

own

4.) Assign homework

• Finish writing legislation if needed and prepare to present your legislation to your

committees in class tomorrow.

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: Student-conducted research on issues students are passionate about enough to inspire

the bill(s) they would like to draft. Then, writing quality, research-backed legislation that

addresses a legitimate need and could feasibly pass (in other words, no bills that would be

unreasonable or inapplicable in real life) and their application and demonstrated comprehension

of previous material covered in the unit.

Day 12

Lesson Title: Unit Summative Assessment 1: The Mock Congress Project cont’d.

Objectives:

• Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively construct and attempt to

pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to

demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees

within the structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and
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effectively work together to craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what

they perceive to be in the public’s best interest. (OBJ 8)

Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)

• Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs

and policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)


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• Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties and how these forms of

expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur. (OBJ 6)

• Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not. (OBJ 7)

• Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research relevant

topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive

writing skills and to practice informed civic engagement. (OBJ 9)

• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

• Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role

in who gets elected to Congress and who does not. (OBJ 11)

Activities:

1.) Students will immediately meet with their committees and begin committee work

2.) All members will present their drafted legislation


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3.) Students will debate and vote on bills and, to represent the vast majority of bills dying in

committee, only one bill may pass per committee

4.) The chosen bill will undergo any amendments the committee decides on in preparation for the

House and Senate Floor debates

5.) This process will repeat until all committees have had a chance to complete committee work

6.) Assign homework:

• Finish the day in committee reflection assignment, the pre floor debate assignment and

prepare for participation in the House and Senate floor debates/votes tomorrow.

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: debating, voting on and amending bills in a collaborative, respectful manner that

demonstrates an understanding of how a Congressional committee functions when considering

legislation and their application and demonstrated comprehension of previous material covered

in the unit.

Day 13

Lesson Title: Unit Summative Assessment 1: The Mock Congress Project Conclusion

Objectives:

• Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively construct and attempt to

pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to

demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees

within the structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and

effectively work together to craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what

they perceive to be in the public’s best interest. (OBJ 8)


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Built off of/Referenced/Reinforced Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the

Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)

• Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs

and policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)

• Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties, how these forms of
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expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur. (OBJ 6)

• Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not. (OBJ 7)

• Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research relevant

topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive

writing skills and to practice informed civic engagement. (OBJ 9)

• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

• Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role

in who gets elected to Congress and who does not. (OBJ 11)

Activities:

1.) The bills that have made it to the House/Senate floors will undergo debates and then the
members of Congress will vote to pass the bills or not

2.) Remaining bills will be sent to the President’s desk, where he or she will choose to sign or
veto. If signed, the project will have come to a successful end. If vetoed, students will be
expected to know what Congressional actions they must take next.

3.) Assign Homework


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 83
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• Homework: Complete the Mock Congress Unit Project reflection.

Assessments: Comprehension checks this lesson will come in the form of analyzing the

students’: presenting, debating and voting on bills in a collaborative, respectful manner that

demonstrates an understanding of how the House and Senate floors operate when considering

legislation. Correct procedures regarding Presidential action are demonstrated as well once the

surviving bills make it to the White House. Their work on the house and senate floors will also

be evaluated for application and demonstrated comprehension of previous material covered in

the unit.

Day 14

Lesson Title: Exam Review Day

Reviewed Learning Goals and Objectives from Earlier in the Unit:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)

• Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs

and policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)


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• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)

• Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties and how these forms of

expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur. (OBJ 6)

• Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not. (OBJ 7)

• Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively construct and attempt to

pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to

demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees

within the structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and

effectively work together to craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what

they perceive to be in the public’s best interest. (OBJ 8)


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 85
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• Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research relevant

topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive

writing skills and to practice informed civic engagement. (OBJ 9)

• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

• Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role

in who gets elected to Congress and who does not. (OBJ 11)

Activities:

1.) Students will have a chance to interact in class activities and group and individual study to

prepare for tomorrow’s unit exam

2.) Assign Homework

• Homework: Study for the unit exam tomorrow

Day 15

Lesson Title: Unit Summative Assessment 2: Unit Exam

Objectives Assessed:

• Students will use guided notes to map the history of the Congress in order to make

connections to why and how Congress operates the way it does today. (OBJ 1)

• Students will use an online simulator program to redraw congressional districts in order

to illustrate their understanding of the highly-politicized process of gerrymandering and

to display their understanding of how it can be improved. (OBJ 2)


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 86
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• Students will use an online simulator program to come up with solutions to eradicate the

national debt in order to appreciate the complexity and nuances of the issue of

government funding and the consequences of cutting or raising the budget for programs

and policies reliant on the government for funding. (OBJ 3)

• Students will use a provided guiding graphic organizer in order to demonstrate their

mastery of the key structural differences and similarities of the United States Senate and

the House of Representatives. (OBJ 4)

• Students will use the essay writing process to respond to their choice of three different

prompts that require them to develop and articulate solutions to plausible and politically

difficult situations that force federal lawmakers to navigate opposing home-style and Hill

style duties in order to gain a federal lawmaker’s perspective, analyze the benefits and

downfalls of Federalism and examine the differences between the theoretical and actual

role of a United States legislator. (OBJ 5)

• Students will use PowerPoint and worksheets in order to analyze photos and songs that

detail infringements on American citizens’ rights and liberties, how these forms of

expression can create an impact and how the power of individuals can be widespread and

able to initiate change when societal injustices occur. (OBJ 6)

• Students will use the essay writing process to analyze their choice of a controversial

Congressional rule or procedure from an approved list and argue for its expiration or

continuation in order to demonstrate their ability to research, ability to formulate an

informed, balanced and appropriately supported argument, and their ability to decipher

how the values and needs of the country have changed over time and whether the

government has been a reflection of that or not. (OBJ 7)


SED 480 UNIT PLAN 87
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• Students will use the process of a mock congress to collectively construct and attempt to

pass legislation as members of Congress on a topic of their choosing in order to

demonstrate their understanding of the lawmaking process and the role of committees

within the structure of Congress and their ability to respectfully, creatively and

effectively work together to craft innovative and research-backed policies based on what

they perceive to be in the public’s best interest. (OBJ 8)

• Students will use a variety of research resources and writing skills to research relevant

topics about which they are passionate and write a letter to the appropriate Congress

member advocating for the cause they have chosen in order to practice their persuasive

writing skills and to practice informed civic engagement. (OBJ 9)

• Students will use a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast the roles and responsibilities

of a member of Congress as a Congressional committee member and as a representative

in order to determine what a member of Congress’s role is. (OBJ 10)

• Students will use guided notes to analyze the financial aspects of a Congressional

election campaign in order to evaluate the current system of money playing a critical role

in who gets elected to Congress and who does not. (OBJ 11)

Activities:
1.) Students will have five minutes to look over materials one more time or ask any last-minute

questions. The will then need to turn in their class binders with their completed cumulative unit

work

2.) Students will complete the unit exam

3.) Upon turning in their exams, students will have their letters to members of Congress returned

to them to finalize.

4.) Assign homework


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• Homework: Finalize returned letter addressing member of Congress for the class to mail

together after the weekend as unit closure.


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References

C-SPAN. (2013, November 12). John McCain town hall: John McCain discusses continuing

resolution of budget [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.c-

span.org/video/?c4472927/john-mccain-town-hall

Comedy Central. (2013, October 2013). American horrible story: Gerrymandering [Video file].

Retrieved from http://www.cc.com/video-clips/0adjfq/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-

american-horrible-story---gerrymandering

Davidson, R. H., & Oleszek, W. J. (1985). Congress and its members (15th ed.). Washington,

D.C: CQ Press.

Drake, F. D., Nelson L. R. (2005). Engagement in teaching history: Theory and practices for

middle and secondary teachers (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education,

Inc.

Gallucci, N. (2018, March 13). Thousands of empty shoes stand in place of children lost to gun

violence outside U.S. Capitol. Mashable. Retrieved from

https://mashable.com/2018/03/13/gun-violence-protest-shoes-

congress/#NKuhU6QgTPqN

Herrnson, P. S. (2003). Congressional elections: Campaigning at home and in Washington (7th

ed.). Washington, D.C: CQ Press.

The Hutchins Center at Brookings, The Woodrow Wilson Center. (2004). The fiscal ship.

Retrieved from http://fiscalship.org/index.php

National Constitution Center. (2015). The interactive Congress: Legislative branch. Retrieved

from https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/articles/article-i
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Tsai, S. (2014). Mock congress. Mrs. Tsai’s AP U.S. government website. Retrieved from

https://govlover.weebly.com/ap-unit-9---mock-congress-simulation.html

Unger, Irwin. (1996). The best of intentions: The triumph and failure of the Great Society under

Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. New York: Doubleday.

USC Game Innovation Lab. (2015, January 27). The redistricting game. Retrieved from

http://www.redistrictinggame.org/index.php