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Developing Public Policy Through Congress: A Project-Based Learning Unit

March 18 - May 3, 2024


Grades 9-11



Skills Learned:

Students will be able to

● Act as policymakers in Congress (work to pass legislation, participate in a committee meeting, negotiate with colleagues, draft and present bills, discuss the merits of bills in a floor debate, etc.).

● Read complex text to determine the author's point of view.

● Investigate different legislative districts to find similarities and differences in public policy issues.


Classtimes will be coordinated between the Lead Teacher and Teacher Fellow

Session Length:

March 18 - May 3, 2024

Number of Sessions:

1 of 2

This course will be part of an ongoing research study by AIR, in collaboration with CWW, the CERES Institute for Children & Youth at Boston University, and the Rennie Center. The study aims to understand teacher and student experiences in the CWW initiative, including factors influencing effective implementation, and outcomes.


Course Program:

The purpose of this project cycle is to learn how the legislative process works with other government structures to create public policy. Students will act as legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives throughout the unit.

There are four major tasks that encompass this project cycle that have a culminating event:

1. Constituency Research - Students will perform research to understand their constituents and their role as a legislator to form their decisions.

2. Drafting a Bill - Students will act as legislators again to draft a bill that mixes personal interest, the will of their constituents, and something their party will support.

3. Congressional Committee Work - Students will act as legislators and will be assigned to a committee and learn how to mark and mend bills in preparation for passing a floor debate.

4. Culminating Event/Full Floor Debate - Students will learn and follow the rules of floor debate and how to use the claim, evidence, reasoning (CER) cycle in back-and-forth dialogue.

Nakia Navarro.webp


Bruce Pontbriand

Dr. Pontbriand (known to TechBoston Academy students as “Dr. P”) has been teaching Civics and Government at TBA since 2005. Dr. P’s classes have been involved in active civic and government engagement including working on “tiny” designing homes in Dorchester with seniors and elementary students at the Holmes Elementary School, Green Architecture Design with AutoDesk, and government advocacy with City Councilor Andrea’ Campbell’s office. Dr. P lives in Randolph, MA, and is very active in community affairs in his town.

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