7th Grade Government Students Engage in Mock Congress Activity

Windward Communications

Students in Dirk Binkley and Eric Mandel’s 7th Grade Introduction to United States Government classes got to experience a bit of what it is like to work in the legislative branch. As part of their study of the lawmaking process, students participated in a Mock Congress throughout the week of May 8.

The project began by asking each student to pick a topic of interest and engage in research. Students then identified a specific problem or issue that they thought could be addressed through legislation. Each student then drafted a bill to try to address the challenge that they had identified. Student bills included topics like the cost of ambulances, Supreme Court reform, gun safety, mental health, renewable energy, and abortion.

Once the bills were drafted, students then worked on the bills in committees, studying and debating them before voting on them. Finally, each student gave a speech in favor of or against one of the bills on the floor of the House of Representatives.

“I love this project because it challenges students to act as creative and resilient problem solvers in order to respond to real world issues while also developing their communications skills,” said Eric. Dirk added, “This work really engages students in critical thinking as they engage in research in trying to find answers to important questions.” 

Providing students some voice and choice over what they studied was also a big part of the project’s success. 7th Grader Saira R. stated, “I enjoyed having the independence to choose my own topic and become more of an expert in a topic that was important to me.”

Overall, the students did a phenomenal job of engaging in thoughtful debate and discussion and developed a greater understanding both of the legislative process and the problems that are facing the country.