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Parks Title

Lesson Two: Know Your Representatives

Upon completing the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify the roles and expectations of a Senate and Assembly representative
  • Discuss one "potential" law and where it is in the process of becoming a law
  • Identify a credible online source versus a noncredible online source
  • Develop questions to further understand a "potential" law
Length of Time 
One 50-minute class period

Online devices for students to research
Vocabulary words posted and copies for students

1. Show School House Rock, "I'm Just a Bill,"

2. Introduce the vocabulary; print and hand out the Glossary of Legislative Terms file.
3. Also print and hand out a copy of The Legislative Process.  This file contains a graphic showing the process that a bill goes through on the way to becoming a law. Show how students will be finding an idea that their representative is working on to make a law. Their job is to find one and follow it on the chart.

4. Using the information sources listed on the "Online Resources" page of this unit, review with the students how to use online resources to become "well informed" citizens. Discuss the looking at credible website versus non-credible website.

5. Have the students use these resources to become familiar with their representatives. Have the students then choose a particular piece of legislation with which their representatives are involved. Have the students use a highlighter to mark their chosen bill's progress on the "Legislative Process" handout.

6. Students will note questions they develop for the legislator regarding the potential law.

Students will answer Essential Question #1, "What are the roles and expectations of a Senate and Assembly Representative for California? and #3, "How does a law get made, from being an idea to a law to be enforced?"