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Expanding Measureable Student Learning about Congress through an In-Class, Effective Mock Congress
Unformatted Document Text:  6 to draft a bill dealing with one of three topic areas. The topics are decided by selecting three actual standing committees from the list of congressional committees that currently exist; for example, Veterans Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Energy and Natural Resources. The form that students use to construct their draft bills is included in Appendix #2. I explain to the students that their bills may address any issue or problem that “fits” into one of the three committee categories, so long as their bill addresses a national issue. I also remind them that their bill should address something their party would support. I ask students to keep their initial bills to a few sentences and bring their bills to class the next class period. I also instruct students to meet at the conference rooms. Pre-Exercise Instructor Lecture Using a list of current congressional standing committees, I help students pick three topic areas of interest for students’ bills. The most commonly selected committees are Foreign Affairs, Energy and Natural Resources, and Education and Labor. I remind students that they must produce funding bills if they wish to legislate issues normally or constitutionally left to the states, i.e. education. I then describe the differences between the two houses including membership, terms of office, and the powers assigned to each by the Constitution. The next part of the lecture involves describing the roles of leadership in each house, with particular attention paid to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader. Each student house is organized into a separate room and in each room by party. I then have the appropriate groups select a Speaker, a majority leader in each house, a minority leader in each house and a President Pro Tempore in the Senate. Usually this is a very informal and voluntary process. Following the discussion of leadership, I define a number of terms they will need to

Authors: Sabo, Joanna.
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to draft a bill dealing with one of three topic areas. The topics are decided by selecting three
actual standing committees from the list of congressional committees that currently exist; for
example, Veterans Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Energy and Natural Resources. The form that
students use to construct their draft bills is included in Appendix #2. I explain to the students
that their bills may address any issue or problem that “fits” into one of the three committee
categories, so long as their bill addresses a national issue. I also remind them that their bill
should address something their party would support. I ask students to keep their initial bills to a
few sentences and bring their bills to class the next class period. I also instruct students to meet
at the conference rooms.
Pre-Exercise Instructor Lecture
Using a list of current congressional standing committees, I help students pick three topic
areas of interest for students’ bills. The most commonly selected committees are Foreign
Affairs, Energy and Natural Resources, and Education and Labor. I remind students that they
must produce funding bills if they wish to legislate issues normally or constitutionally left to the
states, i.e. education. I then describe the differences between the two houses including
membership, terms of office, and the powers assigned to each by the Constitution.
The next part of the lecture involves describing the roles of leadership in each house, with
particular attention paid to the Speaker of the House and the Senate Majority Leader. Each
student house is organized into a separate room and in each room by party. I then have the
appropriate groups select a Speaker, a majority leader in each house, a minority leader in each
house and a President Pro Tempore in the Senate. Usually this is a very informal and voluntary
process. Following the discussion of leadership, I define a number of terms they will need to


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