Send me to Congress
Students learn about the qualifications for and job descriptions of members of the U.S.Senate or the U.S.House of Representatives by designing and creating a campaign brochure. Students apply their knowledge of these requirements by "selling" their candidate to the general public.
A lesson plan for grades 9–10 Social Studies
- describe how their candidate meets the requirements to run for the office he/she is seeking.
- list the 4 groups to whom members of Congress have responsibilities to (their constituents, the nation as a whole, their political party, and special interest groups) and explain how their candidate will meet those responsibilities.
- evaluate the impact of having previous experience in government on a candidate’s chances of being elected to Congress.
Time required for lesson
Physical resources needed:
- White poster paper
- Vis a vis markers
- Magazines for cutting out pictures
- Rubber cement
- Teacher should photocopy a list of campaign brochure requirements.
- Materials should be arranged in a central location for easy access by all students.
Technology resources and Websites
- Optional - Videodisc ABCNews InterActive, “Powers of the Congress: Electing a Representative” (3 videodisc series available through Glencoe. Publisher ISDN 0-02-823690-4
- Optional - Videodisc ABCNews Interactive, “Powers of the Congress: Electing a Senator” (3 videodisc series available through Glencoe. Publisher IDSN 0-02-823-690-4)
Biographical Directory of the US Congress
Congressional Resources on the Internet
- Students will investigate various Congressional websites to gather data about qualifications, terms of office, and leadership positions in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (optional)
- The teacher will present appropriate sections of ABCNews Interactive videodisc “Powers of the Congress” and allow students to take notes for use in their campaign brochures. (optional)
- Students who do not have access to laser discs or computers, to gather information about qualifications, terms of office, and leadership positions in the U.S. Congress, may find this information in their textbooks.
- Teacher makes assignment and explains (10 minutes)
- Hand out attachment entitled Campaign Brochure Requirements. Explain each section in terms of teacher expectations.
- Allow students to choose a partner for this assignment (or choose for them), explaining that grades will be based on how well partners cooperate with each other and on the finished product they turn in (brochure).
- Students are allowed access to the Internet (provided Internet use forms are on file) to see Congressional websites and gather additional information if necessary.
Student assessment for this lesson will be based on the following:
- Participation and cooperation of participants during the creation of the campaign brochure (20 percent)
- Presentation of brochure and the ability to “sell” a candidate to the class (30 percent)
- The finished product:all requirements met, completion of brochure in alloted time, how well groups were able to apply gathered information on members of Congress to their “candidate.” (50 percent)
- North Carolina Essential Standards
- Social Studies (2010)
Civics and Economics
- CE.C&G.4 Understand how democracy depends upon the active participation of citizens. CE.C&G.4.1 Compare citizenship in the American constitutional democracy to membership in other types of governments (e.g., right to privacy, civil rights, responsibilities,...
- Social Studies (2010)
North Carolina curriculum alignment
Social Studies (2003)
- Goal 2: The learner will analyze how the government established by the United States Constitution embodies the purposes, values, and principles of American democracy.
- Objective 2.02: Explain how the United States Constitution defines the framework, organization and structure of the three branches of government at the national level.
- Objective 2.03: Explain how the United States Constitution grants and limits the authority of public officials and government agencies.
- Goal 3: The learner will analyze how state and local government is established by the North Carolina Constitution.
- Objective 3.02: Explain how the North Carolina Constitution and local charters define the framework, organization, and structure of government at the state and local level.
- Goal 4: The learner will explore active roles as a citizen at the local, state, and national levels of government.
- Objective 4.07: Analyze costs and benefits of jury service, voting, seeking office, and civic action at the local, state, and national level.