Academy Curricular Exchange
Columbia Education Center
Social Studies


AUTHOR:  Rosella S. Campos; George Washington High School, Guam

Implementation of Student Congress in the Secondary Classroom.

OVERVIEW: Many students do not understand the process of
lawmaking.  Neither do they know the basis of these laws.  where
do laws come from?  The intricacies of law-making and the length
of time it involves are not clearly understood.

PURPOSE:  This activity can be implemented in all grade levels,
(9th - 12th).  The purpose of this activity is to get the students
involved in the     legislative process of law-making
by assuming different roles and understand the relevance of these
laws to their lives.

1.  To learn about parliamentary procedures.
2.  To enable students to generate their own ideas as basis of making
laws and become better advocates of these ideas.
3.  To develop leadership skills.
4.  To develop communication skills through debate
    and speech.
5.  To learn about contemporary issues.
6.  To learn and understand the workings of

Before the activities begin, the teacher must have discussed with
the students the importance of the different committees in Congress,
such as Rules Committee, Ways and Means Committee, Appropriation
Committee, Armed Services Committee, Education Committee, etc.
Students must also have been familiarized with the steps on how a
bill law.  This acitivity allows for 3-5 class meeting.
Each student should have prepared or written a bill on any subject
of his/her own choice following the smaple or format specified by
the teacher.  At the end of the activity, students will also be
asked to evaluate their own peers following these criteria. (See
attached form)


                            Evaluated by:___________________


Rate the individual according to the following criteria.  Circle a
number the scale from 1 - 10.  1- lowest score, 10- highest score.

Content              1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 10
(evidence of research)

Creat/Orginality     1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 10 
(Use of audio/visual aids)

Clarity/brevity      1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 10

logical              1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 10

Style of
presentation         1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9 10


Total Points


                      40-44   B

                      35-39   C

                      30-34   D


1. Students will be divided into groups of 4-5 members each.
Each group will assign different committee chairperson and a
recording secretary.

2. Each committee will discuss the different bills written by
each student before the activity.  The committee chairperson
will lead the discussion.  Each student must be given at least
2 minutes to present his/her bill.

3.  After the discussions, each committee will choose one
particular bill to propose to the whole assembly of legislators.
This shall be done through voting.  Teacher should remind students
that decisions should be done through majority vote.

4.  After a bill has been considered, the committee will now 
decide what changes to make, if any, this is called the mark-up

5.  When all changes have been made, the committee votes either
to kill the bill or to report it.

6.  If the committee decides to report it, they send the revised
bill to the whole legislative assembly.  All the members of the
committees will now assume the role of the whole asembly.
    At this point the following leaders are chosen, presiding
officer, or speaker, Sargeant at Arms, and recording-clerk.

7.  Each committee will present its own proposed bill by allowing
a student speaker to present the bill to the whole assembly.
After the presentation, questions will be asked by members of
the assembly.  These questions must be on the mechanics of the Bill
of Rights, alot five members for each bill.

8.  After all committees have made their presentations, members of
the asembly will now vote for the bill(s) they would propose to
become a law(s).

9.  At the end of the activity , the students will evaluate the
performance of their peers based on the criteria given to them by
the teacher at the beginning of the activity.


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