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Lesson Plans

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This page contains lesson plans that can be utilized with any CT-N debate video. After choosing a video, explore the list of lesson plans to determine which one best suits your class.

Separation of Powers: How a Bill Becomes a Law
In this lesson, students will learn about the three branches of government and find out how the three branches interact with each another. Students will accomplish this by role-playing each branch’s responsibility in the law-making process in order to identify the main role and function of each of the three branches, read and understand a bill and explain how it became a law. Ultimately, students will identify key steps in a text’s description of a process related to history/social studies while integrating visual information with other information in print and digital texts.

Conducting Research and Writing a Thesis-Driven Paper
In this lesson, students will conduct a short research project on a topic discussed in one of the CT-N bill discussions, generate a thesis based on an argument for or against that topic, and write about their argument clearly, coherently and formally in the form of a thesis-driven paper. Students will draw on several sources and generate focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. Afterwards, students will practice writing arguments focused on discipline-specific content by introducing a claim about a topic or issue and supporting that claim with logical reasoning and relevant, accurate data and evidence that demonstrate an understanding of the topic or text, using credible sources.

Choosing Your Legislators
In this lesson, while viewing a CT-N videotaped Legislative session of a proposed legislative bill, students will identify and evaluate what makes a good legislator and what would influence their decision when deciding who to vote for. As they watch, students will be directed to look for certain characteristics and answer a series of questions that lead them to critical thinking about the decisions that they would make.

Understanding Bias
This interactive writing and discussion activity will engage students in the study of bias as it is used in political debate and decision making, and enable them to evaluate the presentation of material and its importance in making informed decisions. This activity is also a good CAPT practice.

Class Decision Making
While viewing a CT-N videotaped Legislative session students, in a group setting, will determine how both Democrats and Republicans conceptualize the key points of a bill. The activity is intended to help students understand and evaluate the key points of a piece of legislation and then produce a persuasive product designed to gather support for their argument.

How To Watch Your Legislators
While viewing a CT-N videotaped Legislative session of a proposed legislative bill, students will identify key arguments between Democrats and Republicans and then as a class reach a consensus (majority rules) position on whether the bill should pass.

Understanding A Legislator
While viewing a CT-N videotaped Legislative session of a proposed legislative bill, students will identify and personally evaluate the key arguments between Democrats and Republicans and personally vote for or against the bill.

Regionalism: Examining A Bill
Examines an essential question: Does geography determine the voting patterns of elected officials? This activity will help students understand the role of regionalism in a political arena. Emphasis will be placed on geography, demographics and the cooperation among district representatives in developing political strategies and decision making. Students will also draw conclusions on the passage or death of a bill based on regional characteristics.

Language Arts &
Government Interdisciplinary Exercise

In this activity, high school students will recognize the defining characteristics of various categories of newspaper writing, including features (spotlights, in-depth issues, human interest, etc.), news, editorials, and opinions; identify key facts and information from a taped legislative session (who, what, when, why, where, and how); apply and synthesize learning by writing a journalistic piece in a specified mode/point of view; understand that point of view influences the selection of information, the tone of the language used, and the reader’s interpretation of the issue.

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