Thursday, October 30, 2008

Congress on the Net

Some Sites to Help You and Your Students

Just a couple of days until the historic election of 2008. Wow...I am pumped. I love election night. The excitement of an American Presidential election can not be beat. This the the World Series (how about those Phillies???), Super Bowl, and Stanley Cup all rolled into one. While we are all keeping a sharp eye on those early returns in the Presidential race, let's not lose focus on the critical Congressional races happening nationwide. This year's House and Senate races might just be more important than who ends up occupying that big house on Pennsylvania Avenue. Will America vote for a divided or unified government? Stay tuned :)

Last week, I shared one of my favorite multimedia lessons on Congress. Using the web, readings from the Woll Reader, and class discussions I let you in on my power ladder assignment. In that discussion, I shared several sites with you that are must visit sites. The first was which has tons of goodies to look at. In that blog, we focused on the power positions of House and Senate members. If you have time, take a peek at the entire site. It can be a very rich resource to develop lessons or find information.

I also sent you last week to and, the two official sites for these institutions. Last week we had the specific purpose of finding information and connecting to the individual members of Congress. These sites, however, are rich in many other ways. Try clicking on the Eductional Resources in the House site. I have found this useful as a bookmark to get easy access to documents I often use.

Another site that I find indespensible is Thomas ( This is the Library of Congress site. Again, as you browse you will find a vast number of invaluable resources and pages. If you click on For Teachers and then under Classroom activities you will see the "In Congress Assembled" lesson plans. I really like the concept of these activities which deal with Veteran affairs, the debt, and terrorism. You will find these in Lesson 3. is a site that you might want to remember to help you find stuff. I always tell my kids that if you need to access a particular part of the government but are having problems finding it, this is a great index. Another site that I look at from time to time is Their section on Congress has some pretty good ideas that I have borrowed when my own creative juices stop flowing. I am one who doesn't believe in reinventing the wheel everyday and as a teacher my motto has always been, "if it's a good lesson, steal it."

I am sure you are probably well aware of these sites and probably have more. For new teachers in government, these are the basics that you gotta know! Please drop me any comments and share some of your favorites. Until then...

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