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Expanding Measureable Student Learning about Congress through an In-Class, Effective Mock Congress
Unformatted Document Text:  7 know for the exercise. These include: Whip Logrolling Rider Standing committee Conference committee Majority party Minority party Markup Pork barrel Filibuster Cloture Mock Congress Activities Appendix #2 from Interactive Learning Kit for American Government (Sabo) describes the actual exercise. It also includes the review questions that the students and I discuss once back in the regular classroom. For the activity itself, the first day entails students in each room working through party caucuses, obtaining their party’s support for their bill, and then obtaining a cosponsor from the opposite house. Students also give their bills an identification number and begin to talk up their ideas to their colleagues. It is all very informal with students traveling back and forth between the two rooms seeking support for their bill. Any bill that has initial support of a party, and two sponsors, one from each house, goes on to be worked on the second day. At the end of the session I instruct students to inform the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader on which committee they would like to serve. (Logic states that their preferred committee is the one that corresponds to their bill topic). I collect the bills and then sort them by origination house and by committee topic. The second day involves selecting committees, conducting a rudimentary markup on bills and then holding floor votes. Sometimes if student committee work gets quite involved, I will postpone the floor votes until a third class session. Prior to selecting committees, I explain how the Committee on Committees assigns congresspersons to committees with strong input form the

Authors: Sabo, Joanna.
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7
know for the exercise. These include:
Whip
Logrolling
Rider
Standing committee
Conference committee
Majority party
Minority party
Markup
Pork barrel
Filibuster
Cloture

Mock Congress Activities
Appendix #2 from Interactive Learning Kit for American Government (Sabo) describes
the actual exercise. It also includes the review questions that the students and I discuss once
back in the regular classroom.
For the activity itself, the first day entails students in each room working through party
caucuses, obtaining their party’s support for their bill, and then obtaining a cosponsor from the
opposite house. Students also give their bills an identification number and begin to talk up their
ideas to their colleagues. It is all very informal with students traveling back and forth between
the two rooms seeking support for their bill. Any bill that has initial support of a party, and two
sponsors, one from each house, goes on to be worked on the second day. At the end of the
session I instruct students to inform the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader on
which committee they would like to serve. (Logic states that their preferred committee is the one
that corresponds to their bill topic). I collect the bills and then sort them by origination house
and by committee topic.
The second day involves selecting committees, conducting a rudimentary markup on bills
and then holding floor votes. Sometimes if student committee work gets quite involved, I will
postpone the floor votes until a third class session. Prior to selecting committees, I explain how
the Committee on Committees assigns congresspersons to committees with strong input form the


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