The House of Representatives Lesson Plan

Instructor: Josh Corbat

Josh has taught Earth Science and Physical Science at the High School level and holds a Master of Education degree from UNC-Chapel Hill.

Use this lesson plan to introduce the lawmaking body of the United States to your students. Students will watch a video lesson, discuss the House of Representatives, and participate in a role-playing activity.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • describe the House of Representatives and how it fits into the legislative branch of Congress.
  • explain how representation in the House is decided based on state populations.

Length

30-60 minutes

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.A

Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.1.B

Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.

Key Vocabulary

  • House of Representatives
  • legislative branch
  • Speaker of the House
  • bills

Instructions

  • Begin the lesson by asking students how they would set up a representative system of government for the school. Use the following questions to guide their thinking:
    • Would each grade level get the same number of votes?
    • Would each classroom get the same number of votes?
    • How does the principal fit in?
  • Begin the video lesson What is the House of Representatives? - Definition & Members. Pause the video at 1:11 and discuss the following questions:
    • What is the purpose of the legislative branch of government in the US?
    • What is the House of Representatives? What is its counterpart?
  • Resume and finish the video. Discuss the following:
    • How is the number of representatives from each state decided?
    • What is the Speaker of the House? How is this position decided?
    • What are bills and what influence does the House have on them?

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