Education Technology

NCSS: Understanding Concepts & Flow of Legislation

Published on 07/19/2006

Activity Overview

Students will investigate the process of legislation on work sheets containing eight critical vocabulary words or phrases that must be defined using primary sources distributed by the instructor and play that role throughout the activity.

Before the Activity

See the attached Activity PDF file for detailed instructions for this activity.

Print the appropriate pages from the Activity for your class.

Install the LearningCheck(tm), NoteFolio(tm), and TimeSpan(tm) Apps on the students' graphing calculators following the attached instructions.

Make sure each student has a TI-83 Plus or TI-84 Plus graphing calculator loaded with NoteFolio(tm), TImeSpan(tm), and LearningCheck(tm) applications. Divide the class into groups of eight students. Give each student a number from 1 to 8 within each group. Make enough copies of the four student work sheets so that each student can have their own copy.

During the Activity

  • Distribute the appropriate pages from the Activity to your class
  • Distribute the LearningCheck(tm) file(s) to your class using TI Connect(tm) and the appropriate TI Connectivity cable
  • Follow the procedures outlined in the Activity


  • Students will:
  • Examine persistent issues involving the rights, roles, and status of the individual in relation to the general welfare.
  • Locate, access, analyze, interpret, and evaluate sources and examples of citizens' rights and responsibilities.
  • Practice forms of civic discussion and participation consistent with the ideals of citizens in a democratic republic.
  • Students will act in a virtuous and ethically responsible way as members of society.
  • Participate in activities to strengthen the "common good," based upon careful evaluation of possible options for all citizens.
  • After the Activity

    Debrief students on the activity by reviewing and discussing how a bill becomes a law. Ask the students what types of changes they would make in the system. The teacher should expand the legislative process by explaining to the students that different bills originate in different houses. Furthermore, the teacher can question the students about what types of bills originate in the House and which ones originate in the Senate.