Lesson Plan - Get It!
Have you ever wondered how Congress creates laws? It is not as easy as you may think. Creating a law requires many steps and can take months or years to pass. The process is so lengthy that most bills never actually become laws. Today, you will investigate the steps required for creating a bill and turning it into a law.
When the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution, they established a process for creating new laws.
The Founding Fathers wanted a process that would meet the needs of any era. They also wanted a process that would not make it too easy to create new laws because they did not want Congress creating new laws every day or becoming oppressive.
Article 1, Section 7 outlines the process for creating a bill and turning it into a law. Read Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution. You can use the Archives.gov site's Constitution of the United States if you do not have a copy. As you read, make a list of all the steps required for a bill to become a law.
For a more detailed explanation of each step involved in a bill becoming a law, read U.S Constitution Online's Constitutional Topic: How a Bill Becomes a Law.
There are also many infographics — charts or graphics used to represent information or data — that exist to illustrate how a bill becomes a law. Look at Kids.gov's How a Bill Becomes a Law Infographic and Kids Discover's Infographic: How a Bill Becomes a Law (Free account and login may be required). These will provide a more visual representation of how a bill becomes a law.
Finally, watch Disney Educational Production's School House Rock: America- I'm Just a Bill Music Video (below). Sometimes, when there are several steps in a process, music can help you learn the steps more quickly and better retain the information. Listen to the song a few times until it starts to stick in your head!
School House Rock: America - I'm Just a Bill Music Video:
As you read the article, examine the infographics, and watch the music video, review your list of steps for how a bill becomes a law. If you are missing any steps, be sure to add them to your list.
Continue on to the Got It? section to see if you have the steps in order!