1. Hand out the video guide for “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” instructing
students to fill it out as they watch the video excerpt. (See Hand out A).
Show video, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” at the point where
Saunders, Senator Smith’s secretary, is telling Senator Smith how to
write a bill. Continue showing the rest of the video.
Have students share their responses from the video guide
in order to hold a class discussion
on how to write a bill. Give students the “Bill Outline” worksheet
they will use for writing a rough draft of a bill.
1. Divide the class into two Senate committees:
and Natural Resources and
- Environment & Public
Students will research in the computer lab their assigned
committee and describe at least three types of legislation
that the committee deals
using the following websites:
Students will write a bill about an issue appropriate for their assigned
committee. The teacher may want to assign homework to complete
draft of their bill.
On the due date students will read the main sections
to the class, introducing the bill.
1. The teacher should break the committees into subcommittees,
each having five students.
Divide the students’ bills
evenly among the subcommittees so that they are
not in the same committee their bill is in.
Students will participate in a mark-up session
where they will read and evaluate the bills that
have been sent to their
Instructions (Handout C) to each subcommittee.
8: Follow-up discussion (see closure)
Hold a class discussion:
1. What was most difficult about the process?
2. What did you like about the process?
3. What bills did you recommend for passage?
4. What would be the next steps in the process?
5. Who, other than Senators or Representatives, should be involved in the process?
write a bill dealing with energy policy following the model