Teaching Guide and Activities
People to People: Legislating Maine
The following activities may be used in addition to, or as a substitute for, the activities outlined in the lesson plans. They are designed to be used in class discussions or as homework.
- Describe your district, your “home territory.” What sorts of people, industries, interests, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, other institutions exist in your district? What sorts of communities are represented by the legislators interviewed at the beginning of the video?
- How do legislators represent the interests of other people? How do they develop public policy?
- What kind of bill would you like to sponsor ? Why?
- What committees interest you? Why?
- Brainstorm what you would like to do as a class or in the classroom (e.g. trip to the mall, pizza party, group trip to the movies). Choose two ideas and create a budget for each. Then suggest that there will be funds available for only one activity. Debate the merits of each activity and then vote on which one the class could undertake.
- Make a list of five foods you like to eat. Identify laws that protect you as a consumer of foods. Make a list of five activities you like. Imagine laws that govern those activities.
- What kind of legislator would you be right now? What are your primary interests? What are your primary concerns about your school, your neighborhood, your city? your family? How will your background influence your opinions?
- What rules and regulations govern your classroom? How are they similar or different from the legislative rules visible in the video?
- Plan a class field trip to the State House. In advance, organize a scavenger hunt to guide your visit while you are there .
- Contact current officeholders to solicit quotes from them about citizenship, democracy or freedom. Compile their quotations into a chapbook, with brief biographies (and photos) of each contributor. Share the finished product with your school library.