Simulated Congressional Committee Hearing Directions
- Students watch C-SPAN videos, read linked articles, take notes, and clarify both sides of the deliberation question.
- Clarify the difference between a committee hearing, in which members of Congress ask questions and listen to testimony from expert witnesses, and a Congressional floor debate, in which the members of Congress debate the issue with each other.
- Assign students to various roles to participate in a Congressional Committee Hearing. You may choose to assign students to role-play actual experts and members of Congress who were featured in C-SPAN videos or linked articles, or you may allow students to be themselves.
- Watch some committee hearings in the C-SPAN video library so students understand the format.
- Hold the hearing. Students should come prepared with written statements if they are acting as expert witnesses, or with questions if they are acting as a members of Congress.
- Debrief the activity to assess what students learned.