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ALEX Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies (7 - 12)
Title: "I'm Just a Bill": Reading and Writing Legislation for a Congressional Simulation
Description: Students will examine current and recently introduced Congressional legislation using the Thomas search engine. After reading legislation, students will write and post their proposed legislation for peer editing and comment. This lesson is part of a larger Congressional Simulation but may be used independently if necessary.


Subject: Social Studies (12)
Title: The Role and Function of the Conference Committee in the Legislative Process
Description: Students will use C-SPAN to observe short film clips of a Congressional conference committee in action.  Students will hear the rules under which the committee functions and hear debate regarding aspects of the bill.  Finally, students will read the House and Senate versions of the bill currently in conference, seek differences in the bills passed in both houses and recommend a compromise proposal to resolve one of the differences.


Thinkfinity Lesson Plans


Subject: Social Studies
Title: National Archives and Records Administration      Add Bookmark
Description: NARA makes available to the public the historically valuable records of the three branches of federal government: executive (including the President), legislative, and judicial. National Archives holdings include textual; audiovisual; cartographic and architectural; and electronic records.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: Congress      Add Bookmark
Description: Discover Congress through short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The eleven questions included in this segment cover topics such as the bicameral nature of Congress, the number of representatives in each house of Congress, and the process of getting elected to either house of Congress.This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a low-intermediate ESL level.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Preparing for the Oath: Government Basics      Add Bookmark
Description: Use short videos, mini-activities, and practice questions to explore the basic elements of the United States government in this segment of Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship. The ten questions included in this segment cover topics such as federalism, the Constitution, and checks and balances.This site was designed with the needs of recent immigrants in mind. It is written at a low-intermediate ESL level.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: Voting: The Acme of Reform      Add Bookmark
Description: Paper balloting easily led to fraud. The reform of voting methods during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is the focus of this section of the online exhibition entitled Vote: The Machinery of Democracy , from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. As the electorate of the United States increased due to immigration and as women claimed their right to vote, the need for better and more secure ballots became necessary. Students will examine objects, images, and historical media that illustrate the need for more honest and secure voting procedures.
Thinkfinity Partner: Smithsonian
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Subject: Social Studies
Title: C-SPAN Classroom      Add Bookmark
Description: Video clips on the three branches of government and the constitution, accompanied by discussion questions for the classroom.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: K,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Arts,Social Studies
Title: Voting in Congress: More than '' Yea'' or '' Nay''       Add Bookmark
Description: Students learn what factors members of Congress consider when deciding whether to vote for a bill. These including the powers given to Congress by the Constitution, members' personal opinions, political party support, and what voters think. During the first day of the lesson, students find out about each of these factors. During the second day, students get to try their hand at weighing the factors by considering hypothetical bills.
Thinkfinity Partner: Verizon Thinkfinity
Grade Span: 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12



Subject: Language Arts,Social Studies
Title: Congressional Committees and the Legislative Process      Add Bookmark
Description: This lesson from EDSITEment introduces students to the pivotal role that Congressional committees play in the legislative process, focusing on how their own Congressional representatives influence legislation through their committee appointments. Students begin by reviewing the stages of the legislative process then learn how committees and subcommittees help determine the outcome of this process by deciding which bills the full Congress will consider and by shaping the legislation upon which votes are finally cast. With this background, students research the committee and subcommittee assignments of their Congressional representatives, then divide into small groups to prepare class reports on the jurisdictions of these different committees and their representatives' special responsibilities on each one. Finally, students consider why representation on these specific committees might be important to the people of their state or community, and examine how the committee system reflects some of the basic principles of American federalism.
Thinkfinity Partner: EDSITEment
Grade Span: 9,10,11,12



Alabama Virtual Library
Alabama Virtual Library

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
The Malone Family Foundation
The Malone Family Foundation
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