U. S. Government: Democracy In Action

Chapter 5: The Organization of Congress

Student Web Activity

"Learning About the Senate"

In this chapter you learned about the structure of Congress, the qualifications for congressional membership, and the role of congressional committees and supporting staff and agencies. In this activity, you will take a closer look at one of the houses of the United States Congress—the Senate.

Destination Title: U.S. Senate

Note: Clicking on the link above will launch a new browser window.
Need help using your browser for this activity? Click here for tips.

Start at the U.S. Senate Web site.

  • Click on the Art & History Link, then on Origins & Development in the menu on the left.
  • Click and read through the topics under the Institutional and Powers & Procedures subheadings in the menu on the left.
  • Explore the information presented, taking notes as you read.

After you have read through the information, answer the following questions.

How did Congress come to be established as a two-house legislature?
Describe the three kinds of committees maintained by the Senate.
What is the purpose of a filibuster? Who holds the record for the longest filibuster?
What are the roles of the majority and minority leaders in the Senate? How are these leaders chosen?
Read the description of the seal. Then on a separate piece of paper or poster board, create a new Senate Seal. On your paper or poster, explain the meaning of any symbols you used in creating your seal. Display the completed seals around the classroom.
US Government: Democracy In Action
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