Resources for Studying Congress

There are many wonderful resources for studying the US congressional history and the legislative process. Here are some I’ve compiled:

National Archives

The National Archives like to utilize their Charters of Freedom collection, which includes the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The featured activity I found is part of the DOCSteach program, which is specifically aimed at using primary sources documents in the classroom. I liked the interactive features here, but I thought that younger students may find the exercise confusing. In fact, I’m not exactly sure what it’s supposed to be.

I found this activity on Senators’ pay during the first Congress to be a little simpler. Current legislative salaries can be found on http://www.legistorm.com, if you would like your students to compare the numbers.

Library of Congress

There are three activities I really liked on the LOC site. I know it’s difficult to find resources for younger students. These lessons should be appropriate for students as young as 6th grade.

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/lessons/bill-of-rights/

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/lessons/jefferson/

http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/lessons/continuity-change/

I found the layout of the LOC website to be easier to use and their activities divided up in a way that made them easier to read. I didn’t struggle in navigating the site as I did with the National Archives resources above.

Websites of the Senate and House of Representatives

I found these short essays on the Senate web page to be a great quick read, wonderful as short supplementary readings for older students.

It’s a corny name, but the Kids in the House website from the House of Representatives provides excellent resources for elementary, middle and high school teachers.

Senate.gov and house.gov are the websites for the Senate and House, respectively.

Other resources to check out:

National Museum of American History: http://americanhistory.si.edu/

The Gilder Lehrman Institute: http://www.gilderlehrman.org/teachers/module.php?module_id=74

TeachingHistory.org

PBS: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/

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About Dee

Archivist. Librarian. History student. History lover. Reader. Writer. Hobbiest calligrapher. DIYer. Questioner. Annoyance. Feminist. Researcher.
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