The process of how a bill becomes a federal law is more than a series of linked steps. It is the fundamental way people in a democracy get involved and work through their elected officials to meet needs and solve problems for the benefit of themselves and other Americans. Through this lesson, students will learn about the dynamic interconnections of people, principles, and process that are involved in making federal laws.
The Annenberg Classroom video “One School’s Fight: The Making of a Law” recounts a true story of survival by describing the chronology of events that occurred over a 4-year period related to a real bill (S.136) that became law. The bill’s long and death-defying journey begins because three schools in Yosemite National Park needed additional funding to stay open. U.S. Rep. George Radanovich and Sen. Dianne Feinstein are interviewed as bill sponsors along with other key individuals who supported the bill.
The estimated time for this lesson plan is four class periods.