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***COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: February 2003***

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  • Cindy Koeppel
    COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: February 2003 Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center s Communicator - a web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 7, 2003
      COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: February 2003

      Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center's "Communicator" - a
      web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas to
      enhance civic education and improve the understanding of Congress --


      <<< CALL FOR PARTICIPATION: Congress in the Classroom 2003 >>>

      Congress in the Classroom is a national, award-winning education program
      now in its eleventh year. It is sponsored by The Dirksen Congressional
      Center located in Pekin, Illinois, in cooperation with Bradley
      University, Peoria, Illinois, and is dedicated to the exchange of ideas
      and information on teaching about Congress.

      Congress in the Classroom is designed for secondary school teachers and
      community college faculty who teach U.S. history, American government
      civics, political science, social studies, or related subjects. Between
      30 and 35 teachers from throughout the country are selected each year to
      take part in the program. Nearly 200 applied for last year's workshop.

      The 2003 program theme will be "An Overview of Congress." Individual
      sessions will be offered on such topics as: (1) The case for
      representative democracy, (2) What you can learn about Congress Members
      from statistics, (3) How Members make decisions, (4) How does a bill
      become a law? Not the way the textbooks say, (5) How does one lead
      Congress? and (6) The Media and Congress. Participants will also gain
      experience with The Center's educational Web site, CongressLink -
      http://www.congresslink.org -- which features online access to lesson
      plans, student activities, historical materials, related Web sites, and
      subject matter experts. Throughout the program, participants will work
      with national experts as well as colleagues from across the nation. This
      combination of first-hand knowledge and peer-to-peer interaction will
      present new ideas, materials, and a professionally enriching experience.

      The workshop will take place from July 28 through July 31, 2003, on the
      campus of Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois. Congress in the
      Classroom is free to participants. Teachers who are selected for the
      program will be required to post a $100 deposit which will be refunded
      in full once they have completed the program. Participants also have the
      option of purchasing one hour of graduate credit from Bradley
      University. We expect the per hour charge for graduate credit to be from
      $435 - $450.

      Those teachers who are not selected for the program will have an
      opportunity to register for the Web-based Congress in the Classroom

      The deadline for applications is March 15, 2003. Enrollment is
      competitive and limited to thirty-five. Selection will be determined by
      The Center. Individuals will be notified of their acceptance status by
      April 1, 2003.

      Take a look at The Dirksen Center Web site -
      http://www.dirksencenter.org/progcongressinclassroom.htm#what -- to see
      what participants say about the program. If you are interested in
      registering for the Congress in the Classroom 2003 workshop, you can
      complete an online registration form found at:


      Congress has both specific and implied powers under the Constitution.
      The amendment process, as well as Congress's own legislative action, has
      expanded these powers. Visit The Dirksen Center's Web suite -
      http://www.dirksencongressionalcenter.org - to help your students learn
      about the powers of Congress and to understand how Congress, and the
      other two branches of the federal government, has exercised those powers
      given in the Constitution.

      The Framers of the Constitution wanted to strengthen Congress. The
      Articles of Confederation did not give enough power to Congress to
      support the new nation. Find "The Powers of Congress" on our
      AboutGovernment site at:

      Under Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution, Congress is given 27
      specific powers that are commonly known as the "enumerated powers." Our
      CongressLink featured lesson plan offers an opportunity to present the
      powers of Congress creatively, allowing the students to justify which
      Congressional powers they believe are most important. Find "2, 4, 6, 8 .
      . . Who Knows What's in Article I, Section 8? (or Powers of Congress)"
      at: http://www.congresslink.org/lessonplans/HCPowers.htm

      Implied powers derive from the right of Congress to make all laws
      "necessary and proper" to carry out its enumerated powers. Implied
      powers are not stated directly in the Constitution. In 1819, the Supreme
      Court upheld the concept of implied powers in the landmark case,
      "McCulloch v. Maryland." Learn more about this Supreme Court case that
      relied on the elastic clause to justify a national bank. Find "McCulloch
      v. Maryland (1819) - Landmark Supreme Court Cases" at:

      In addition to the legislative powers of Congress enumerated in the
      Constitution, there are limitations on congressional powers (Article I,
      Section 9) -- http://www.congresslink.org/notes.html#nine The U.S.
      Constitution -- http://www.congresslink.org/resourc.html -- also
      enumerates the powers prohibited to the states (Article I, Section 10)
      -- http://www.congresslink.org/article1.htm

      <<< Featured Project >>>

      Our featured project this month is a WebQuest developed by The Dirksen
      Center to introduce students to the concept of "influence" or "power" in
      Congress. Find "WebQuest: How Influential is Your Member of Congress?"
      at: http://www.congresslink.org/WebQuests/CongressionalPowerIndex.htm

      Knowing about Congress could be considered an effective lobbying tool.
      Find out how much you already know, or learn as you go, using the online
      flashcards that you can flip through, print in a variety of formats with
      custom fonts and font sizes, or download to a Palm Pilot or Windows CE
      device. Find "Knowing About Congress" at:

      <<< Congressional "Brain" Power >>>

      1. Congress took advantage of one of its implied powers when, in the
      _____ _____ Act of 1973, it tried to regulate when the President could
      send U. S. troops into combat on foreign soil.

      A) Reapportionment
      B) War Powers
      C) Civil Rights

      2. The last clause of Article I, Section 8 gives Congress its _____.

      A) expressed powers
      B) implied powers
      C) enumerated powers
      D) power of the purse

      3. True or False: The elastic clause is used to justify wide expansion
      of government authority.

      <<< Student Web Activity >>>

      Congressional powers are used to conduct investigations and for
      legislative oversight. The history of Congressional oversight dates back
      to the 1792 investigation of the government's handling of the Indian
      Wars. Teachers, have your students conduct further research to learn
      about other cases of Congressional oversight investigations. You could
      have them create an annotated time line of these events using a poster
      board or presentation software. Along with the date, suggest that they
      write a brief summary of the background and highlights of the
      investigation. It would be really cool if they included pictures or
      illustrations to make their timeline more visually appealing. Your
      students will find these Web sites helpful:

      (1) Find "The General Principles of Congressional Oversight" at:

      (2) Find "Committees of the House of Representatives" at:

      (3) Find "The Weakening of Congressional Oversight" at:

      Answers to January's issue of "Fun, Facts, and Trivia" link here:

      Happy Valentine's Day! Encourage your colleagues to subscribe to the
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