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CT-N Legislative Session 
Viewing Activity


"Choosing Your Legislators"

Laura Elliott, Sedgwick M.S.

Click Here for the Word Document version of this page.

 
 

Video Session: Use an appropriate taped CT-N session of the Connecticut House of Representatives or Senate discussing a bill with clearly defined party arguments.  Check our Hot Topics page for ideas.
 
Common Core State Standards:
R2: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
 
Content:  While viewing a CT-N videotaped Legislative session of a proposed legislative bill, students will identify and evaluate what makes a good legislator and what would influence their decision when deciding who to vote for.
 
Additional Materials Needed:

  • Viewing worksheet provided at the end of the lesson
  • Technology to show the CT-N session debates

Class Time: 1 class period.
 
Objectives: Students will: identify and evaluate the characteristics that make a good legislator and decide what would influence their decision when deciding who to vote for.
 
Activity:

  • Explain to students that one of the biggest responsibilities of a citizen is to exercise their right to vote. They need to become educated and knowledgeable about their representatives when deciding who to vote for.
  • Begin the lesson by asking the question: What are the important characteristics that make a good legislator? For example, the legislator must be honest, open to public opinions, etc.
  • Start a ďchalk talkĒ on the board. As students brainstorm their ideas, have them come up and list these characteristics on the board. This can turn into a mind-map with connections or simply be a brainstorm of words.
  • Once students have finished their list as a class, have them take a look at the list and point out what they see. Ask students to evaluate if any of these characteristics are more important than others. Point out any connections that may have been made.
  • Explain that, keeping in mind the characteristics they just came up with, they will be watching a CT-N videotaped Legislative session of a proposed legislative bill. Pass out the corresponding worksheet. Students should watch the video and carefully fill out the worksheet based on who and what they observe.

Debrief/Closure: After viewing the video, students should share the notes they took on the people they observed. Have students be specific in sharing what would influence their decision when deciding who to vote for. End the class with an exit slip requiring the students to answer the question: Based on what you saw and learned today, why is exercising the right to vote one of the most important responsibilities of a U.S. citizen?
 
 
 
If you have any comments or suggestions about this activity or would like to submit your own activity, please contact me and share your ideas.
 

 

As you watch the CT-N videotaped Legislative session of a proposed legislative bill, take notes on the different people who come up to speak. Choose at least three people to take notes on and answer the following questions:
 
Name:
 
Title:
 
Political Party:
 
Overview of argument:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of argument (circle one):  StrongMedium    Weak
 
Was this personís argument convincing (circle one)?   Yes No
 
Key points of argument:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Positive characteristics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Negative characteristics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Would you vote for this person in the future (circle one)?:   Yes     No
 
Explain why:
 
Name:
 
Title:
 
Political Party:
 
Overview of argument:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of argument (circle one):  StrongMedium    Weak
 
 
Was this personís argument convincing (circle one)?   Yes No
 
 
Key points of argument:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Positive characteristics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Negative characteristics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Would you vote for this person in the future (circle one)?:   Yes     No
 
 
Explain why:
 
 
Name:
 
Title:
 
Political Party:
 
Overview of argument:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Strength of argument (circle one):  StrongMedium    Weak
 
 
Was this personís argument convincing (circle one)?   Yes No
 
 
Key points of argument:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Positive characteristics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Negative characteristics:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Would you vote for this person in the future (circle one)?:   Yes     No
 
 
Explain why: