Lesson Four: There Ought to Be a Law!
By the end of the lesson students will be able to:
- Articulate the process for a bill to become a law
- Create a proposal for a bill
Up to three 50-minute class periods
Writing materials or computer
Facilitate a brainstorming session with your students on current issues facing your community. Have the students list ideas that could truly benefit the community if enacted into a law. Explain to students that they will now take the first step in creating a bill: transforming their thoughts and ideas into a clearly written proposal.
Assign the students to begin the process of writing a persuasive proposal, in letter format, to present their ideas to legislators (through mail, or email). Have the students begin the writing process with this graphic organizer . Refer students to the Online Thesis Builder to help build a logical argument.
Students should come to class on Day 2 with a draft of their proposal.
If time permits, invite community speakers (e.g., city council members, local newspaper reporters, representatives of special interest groups) to come to the classroom to speak on the issues.
Allow students in-class work time to revise and edit their proposals. The revision and editing of proposals could also be done as a homework assignment if time does not permit in-class work time.
Have students break into groups. Have the groups choose one of the student proposals to read to the class. After all the groups have read their proposals to the class, have the class choose one to send on to your legislator.