The Powers of Congress
The Constitution gives Congress 17 enumerated powers (plus the Necessary and Proper Clause). Congress has taken the powers given it under the Constitution and used them to create laws about immigrants, pollution, biotech, taxes, the Internet, education and almost any other issue you can think of.
The six lessons in this project allow your student to explore Congress’ most important powers: Taxation, Commerce, Patents, Copyrights and Immigration and the Elastic “Necessary and Property Clause.”
Questions presented include:
A) What if there were no income tax? How could you raise money to fund the government?
B) If we were colonizing the moon, what laws immigration laws should we have?
C) How do we protect authors and inventors while still encouraging innovation?
D) How much can Congress use the Commerce Clause to preempt state laws that do a better job of protecting the environment?
Your students will be Congress and write bills, or have discussions, debates and argue these questions in a variety of fun and challenging scenarios.
Congressional Seating Chart
Bill Writing Rubrics and Examples
Bad Bill/Good Bill Activity (Helps students understand what should and should not go in a bill)
Visit Economical Democracy for more great activities.