The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate aims to teach students about the role of the Senate in our representative democracy, introducing important elements of the legislative process to students, and encouraging participation in civic life. The Institute’s educational programs frame important legislative debates going on in our nation, and give students the opportunity to practice a number of the processes and skills necessary to craft legislation.
The Today’s Vote in the Classroom program is a legislative simulation based on the Today’s Vote program that is delivered onsite at the Kennedy Institute. Today’s Vote in the Classroom asks students to:
- Take on the role of a lawmaker
- Work together to discuss a bill recently considered by the U.S.Senate
- Conduct a Senate debate that presents arguments in support of or against the legislation
Cast their vote on the bill
The program encourages students to think about representation in a democracy and examine important legislative issues within the structure of a Senate debate. The use of role play and Senate rules of decorum set the stage for deliberation. The companion bill-building activity will help introduce students to the legislative topic.