CTN Civics Toolbox logo

CT-N Legislative Session 
Viewing Activity

"Class Decision Making"

Developed by: Victor W. Geraci, Ph.D.

Click Here for the Word Document version of this page.

Video Session: Use an appropriate taped CT-N session of the Connecticut House of Representatives or Senate discussing a bill with clearly defined party arguments. Check our Hot Topics page for ideas.

Additional Materials Needed:

Class Time: Two or three class periods.

Objectives: See unit general objectives.

Anticipatory Set:

  • Video clip from a Hollywood Movie
  • Song and Lyrics
  • Student Council
  • Mail out handouts from different candidates.


  • (Day one/two depending on length of video) By randomly counting off students break the class into two groups --- Republican or Democrat. While watching the video as a group (Democrat or Republican) have each group complete the following tasks.
    1. Make a list of the legislative people that spoke for your party and list the points the representatives from your party make for or against the Bill.
    2. On the map, provided by the teacher, color in the area that your legislative persons represent.
    3. As a group read the Bill and make a list of the key points that the bill addresses.
    4. Compare this to the list of points made by your party. Prepare a list of the key points for your party.


  • (Day two/three) Each Party is to break into sub groups responsible for producing one or all of each of the below products.
    1. Prepare a two-minute script for a radio or television release based on your party’s concerns. 
    2. Prepare a one-page press release describing your parties concerns. 
    3. Prepare a mailer to Connecticut voters describing why your party took its stand.
    4. Prepare for a debate between Democratic and Republican Representatives 


  • (Day three/four) Bring the entire class together and the teacher leads the following brainstorming and evaluation components.
    1. As a class brainstorm and list on the board the KEY points of the bill
    2. As a class color in the OH transparency map of the districts represented in the video
    3. By a show of hands have the class vote on whether they feel the bill should be approved. Write the results on the board.
    4. Predict how the vote would go---141 total votes of which ** Republican and ** are Democrat.

Debrief/ Closure: (Day Four) Discuss and compare/contrast the class vote with the actual vote.

If you have any comments or suggestions about this activity or would like to submit your own activity, please contact us and share your ideas.