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: Three to five class periods.
Objectives: See unit general objectives.
- Video clip from a Hollywood legislative session
- Student Council examples
- Break the class into two or four groups and have each group watch the video and complete the following questions and activities as they watch the video.
- What will the bill create? (basic details and definition of terms)
- Who supports the bill? (geography, party) Use the legislative map to trace the legislators.
- Who opposes it? (geography, party) Use the legislative map to trace the legislators.
- Each group comes to consensus on why do we need or not need this bill?
- Now tell ½ of the groups that they support the bill and ½ that they do not support the bill. Have each group create a list of reasons to support their cause.
- Teacher Notes: Help guide the student groups by offering some key questions surrounding the bill. The teacher will need to provide helping questions and suggestions for both the opposition and the supporters.
- Have each group create a maximum 5 minute Presentation of their cause.
- Presentations of group findings.
Debrief/Closure: Bring the class together as a whole and discuss the following Key issues/ questions:
- What is the problem? (Competing definitions)
- Will any law deal with the issue?
- How do federal and state laws interact?
- What is the influence of money?
- Have the class vote on the bill. Compare and contrast to the actual vote if it has taken place.
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