According to the US Constitution, what is the most important branch of the federal government? Contrary to (somewhat) popular opinion, it’s not the presidency—it’s Congress! In my intro American politics class, it’s important for the students to learn the structure of Congress and its powers, along with the “legislative process” (a fancy way of saying “making laws”!). But let’s face it, this information is a bit dry. So I spice up the lesson by adding the element of competition: a Kahoot! quiz that motivates the students to do their reading, impress their classmates, and take home the (virtual) trophy. Do you have what it takes to win this Kahoot! quiz about the US Congress?
As a bit of a study guide / cheat sheet, some of the quiz questions on the structure of Congress and its powers include:
- The number and names of the different chambers (or houses) of Congress
- How many members each chamber has
- For how long do these members serve (each term)?
- What are the special powers of the House of Representatives?
- What are the special powers of the Senate?
- How does the impeachment process work?
And you may also want to have a sense of how the legislative process works, including:
- What is the order of steps to submitting a bill and turning it into a law? (for example, when do committees come into the process? When do floor votes happen?)
- Who can introduce a bill for Congress to consider?
- Who assigns a submitted bill to a committee?
- What can committees do when they are given a bill?
- What is the percentage of bills that actually get any attention from a committee? What happens to the rest of the bills?
- How many votes does a bill need to pass in the House? The Senate?
- Do both the House and the Senate need to vote on a bill to make it a law? Or can only one chamber make a law?
- What happens if the House and the Senate pass slightly different bills?
- What are all the things that the President can do once a bill is sent to him? What happens if the President vetoes the bill? Can Congress do anything about a veto?
The video from PBS Crash Course and the 1976 classic song from Schoolhouse Rock (embedded above) can help you brush up on some of these points, and good old Google (or an American politics textbook, like Morone and Kersh’s By the People, if you have access to it) can help you be completely ready to rock the Kahoot! Of course, you can also just try the quiz without any prep—the nice thing is, you aren’t actually being graded. 🙂
For those of you who haven’t played Kahoot! before, you get points for correct answers, but also for the speed of your answers, and how many correct answers you get in a row! So click quickly but carefully! Good luck: Play my Kahoot! quiz on the US Congress here!
Image from Kahoot! US Congress Quiz