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55 Minute Lesson Plan

Robert Drey III, Houston Woodard III


March 4, 2015
Social Studies/Grade 8
The Process of a Bill Becoming a Law
Objective: The students will apply the basic process of a bill becoming a law by writing the
steps.
Common Core Standard: 6-8.RH.3
Students are expected to identify key steps in a texts description of a process related to
history/social studies
Anticipatory Set:
Think back to when we discussed the beginning process of a bill becoming a law. Answer the
following questions
1.

Laws begin as ________.

2. True or False: Ideas may come from a representative or from a citizen like you.
3. Who researches the ideas and writes them into bills?
Go over the correct answers by calling on students randomly using the Popsicle sticks
Today we are going to learn the remaining steps of a bill becoming a law.
*Information:
PowerPoint slides will be used to explain the steps of a bill becoming a law. Pictures will be
added to the slides as a visual aid.
1. Bill is proposed: Bill needs sponsor, representative talks with other representatives, once
the bill has a sponsor it is ready to be introduced.

2. Bill is introduced: Bill is introduced when it is placed in the hopper (special box on the
side of the clerks desk), bell clerk assigns bill a number, then the reading clerk reads the
bill, speaker sends bill to one of the house standing committees (organize bills).
Questions: What does every bill need? What is the hopper? What does a bell clerk do? What does
the speaker do?
3. Bill goes to committee: committee members review, research, and revise the bill, vote on
whether or not to send bill back to the house floor, if committee wants more information,
the bill is sent to subcommittee.
4. Bill is reported: committee approves bill, bill is sent or reported to the house floor.
Questions: What are the three Rs? Where is the bill sent if the committee wants information on
the bill? Where is the bill sent after the committee approves the bill?
5. Bill is debated: representatives discuss bill, recommend changes.
6. Bill is voted on: Three methods in the House, method one, viva voce (voice vote),
speaker asks representatives if they support the bill (ya or nay), method two, division,
speaker asks representatives to stand up for their vote, method three, recorded,
representatives use electronic voting system, bill passes with majority vote, bill is
certified by clerk of the House, sent to Senate.
Questions: Can representatives recommend changes to the bill? What are the three voting
methods used in the House? Does the majority vote win?
7. Bill is referred to the Senate: same steps as the House, bill passes with majority vote.
8. Bill is sent to the President: President has three choices, choice 1, sign the bill, bill
becomes law, choice two, refuse to sign or veto, bill is sent back, two-thirds vote from
House and Senate can override veto, choice three, do nothing (pocket veto), if Congress

is in session bill becomes law after ten days, if Congress is not in session the bill does not
become a law.
Questions: What steps do the House of Representatives take on approving a bill? What are the
three choices the President has regarding a bill? Who can override a veto?
9. Bill becomes a law.
Think, Pair, Share:
Students will count off one to seven until every student has a number. Then, students will be told
to group up with partners of the same number. Students will be told where in the classroom their
group will be located. The students will be given one minute and nineteen seconds to find their
partners and locate their group work area. When the time elapses, the instructor will say if you
hear me clap once, if you hear me clap twice, if you hear me clap three times which should get
the students attentions. Once the students have figured out who their number partners are, they
will sit in their group designated areas. The tallest person in the group will be the recorder, the
second tallest will be the presenter and the shortest person will be the expert on the bill that their
group comes up with. The recorder will get out a sheet of paper and a pen or pencil. The students
will have 3 minutes and 39 seconds to come up with a bill that they would like to become a law.
However, their group bill must pertain to education. Once their time elapses, the presenter of the
group will read the bill that their group came up with, fold their paper, and put their bill in the
hopper. After all groups presented their bills, the class will choose the top three bills that they
would like to further discuss.
Ask:

Who is the recorder in your group? Presenter? Expert on your bill?

How long does your group have to come up with a bill?

Where will your group submit your bill once the class has ended?

Guided Practice:
Students will stay in their original groups. The three groups whose bills were chosen to be in the
top three will now write the pros and cons for their bills. The other groups will be assigned the
Sub-Committee, the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the President. Whatever position
that the groups are assigned, their job is to follow the steps of a bill becoming a law. The students
will have five minutes to fully complete the process of a bill becoming a law.
Before beginning the activity ask the following using Ask-Pause-Call to check for understanding:

Are the students forming new groups?


What groups are writing the pros and cons for their bills?
What group is assigned the Sub-Committee? The House of Representatives? The Senate?
The President?

Extended (Independent) Practice:


The students will be given butcher paper that they will use to create an illustrative poster
describing all the steps of a bill becoming a law.
Closure:
On a sheet of paper, students will summarize three steps of their choosing presented in class by
only using no more than three words.
1. Bill is proposed
2. Bill is introduced
3. Review by committee
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

Bill is reported
Bill is debated
Bill is voted
Bill to senate
Bill to president
Bill is law

Materials Needed:

PowerPoint

Hopper

Sheet of paper

Pen/pencil

Butcher paper

Assessment:
Students will answer the flowing questions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.

What do laws begin as?


What does every bill need?
What is the first step to introducing the bill?
What are the three Rs that committee members do?
Who sends the bill to the house floor?
Who debates the bill?
What are the three methods in the House of Representatives to vote on a bill?
True or False: The Senate goes through the same steps as the House of Representatives.
What three choices does the President have once he is sent the bill?
10. What happens to the bill after the President approves the bill?