Teaching Guide and Activities
Person to Person: Legislating Maine
LESSON 5: INFLUENCE OF THE MEDIA
At the end of Lesson 5 students will be able to
- Evaluate and defend positions on current issues regarding individual rights and judicial protection.
- Describe and analyze the process by which a proposed law is adopted, including the role of governmental and non-governmental influences.
- Identify ways in which citizens in a pluralistic society manage differences of opinion on public policy issues.
- Assess the competing ideas about the purposes government should serve.
- Students will report on what they learned about their “bill” from watching TV news, reading newspapers, and/or conducting online searches.
- In class discussion led by teacher, students will discuss whether the media has ever influenced their opinions about a Maine matter, and if so, teachers will encourage them to explain how and why their opinions might have changed because of the media.
- “Lobbyists,” “state agency personnel,” and “members of the public ”will assume their roles in the classroom legislative process.
- “House” and “Senate” will debate the issue and then each will vote to see whether the class “bill” will pass or fail.
- no additional materials required
- “Lobbyists” try to influence legislator classmates using whatever methods they deem appropriate and ethical for advocates hired by interested clients.
- “Members of the public” try to influence legislator classmates using techniques available to citizens.
- “State agency personnel” try to influence legislator classmates using methods appropriate to their roles as state employees.
- Both “sides” of class participate in House and Senate “debates”; entire class votes on issue.
- Did students participate confidently in the “debate”? use evidence from their research to support their positions? assume their roles convincingly?