How Bills Become Law PowerPoint
How Bills Become Law
Follow the Washington State Legislative process from idea to bill to law, noting the major players involved in each step. Students can complete the worksheet following along with the PowerPoint and lecture notes outlining the key points of the process.
Time: 1 hour
- Understand the steps of the lawmaking process in Washington State
- Understand how and why the legislative process winnows bills down at each step
- Identify major stakeholders and decision-makers at each stage of the legislative process
|The Perfect Pizza |||
The Perfect Pizza
This activity introduces students to the key ideas behind the legislative process: how do you make fair decisions that affect a large group of people, when there are many different ideas about the right thing to do?
Time: 1 hour
- Understand ideas of debate, compromise, and negotiation
Committee Process Overview PowerPoint
Mock Teacher Guide
Plastic Bag Bill Package
Energy Drinks Bill Package
Ivory Bill Package
Bike Helmets Bill Package
Uniforms Bill Package
Teen Wage Bill Package
Mock Committee Hearing
Hold a committee hearing in your class to debate a policy proposal the same way Washington State legislators do. The sample bills below come with pre-drafted amendments and bill reports (recommended for younger grades or classes with limited time). Students can also write their own bills and amendments, or look up real bills by topic on the
Legislature's search site. The Teacher Guide includes a complete 5-class lecture plan, Common Core standards aligned evaluation rubrics in Speaking and Listening and Literacy in Social Studies, hearing scripts, and graphic organizers for student research and debate prep.
Time: 5 hours
- Understand the purpose of committee hearings in the legislative process
- Understand the roles of legislators, staff, interest groups, and citizens in a committee hearing
- Research different perspectives and solutions on a policy topic
- Develop persuasive arguments on a policy topic
- Participate in civil and constructive debate on a policy topic
Executive Session Role Play Lesson Plan
Executive Session Roles and Documents
Executive Session Role Play
In an Executive Session, legislative committee members discuss their opinions on bills and vote on amendments and whether the bill should move on to the next step of the process. They take into account testimony from the public hearing and from letters, fact sheets, and research by citizens and stakeholders who care about the issue. This activity has students play the role of legislators with individual perspectives on a bill, weighing a variety of opinions and negotiating a compromise.
Time: 1-2 hours
- Evaluate information and arguments from different sources on a policy issue
- Practice and understand a legislator's role in negotiating among different priorities and weighing trade-offs of various proposals
Budget Balancing Exercise Lesson Plan
Budget Balancing Worksheet
Starting 2015 Budget
Digital Budget Worksheets
Spending and Revenue Boards
Spending and Revenue Change Options
Budget Balancing Exercise
Explore the Washington State operating budget in-depth by playing the roles of budget negotiators. Students work in teams to compromise among a variety of competing priorities and create a balanced budget proposal. This exercise is loosely based on realistic proposals from the 2015-2016 budget cycle and helps students understand the scale and challenges of statewide budgeting. The method can also be adapted or simplified for younger students.
Time: 2 hours
- Understand the major components of the Washington State Operating Budget
- Identify challenges in budget negotations (limited time, limited resources, difficult trade-offs, competing priorities)
Who Gets to Vote? Lesson Plan
Who Gets to Vote?
In this interactive game, students are randomly assigned to groups, which determine whether or not they are allowed to vote in a classroom poll. By expanding the groups who get to vote over a series of polls, the simulation helps students understand the historical expansion of voting rights in the United States.
Time: 1 hour
- Understand the impact that restricting voting rights has on group decisions
- Relate the game to the history of voting rights expansion in the United States