Cutline – Sixth grade Civics students, including (front row, from left) Nolan Lowery and Laurel Baker; and (back row) Giovanni Valentine and Estella Friend) have spent several weeks creating board games based on the legislative process required to create and pass a bill. Mrs. Sines has been teaching this unit for several years and said this year’s students have been exceptional in their understanding of this difficult process.

Understanding how bills are created and passed by the legislative Branch of our federal government is a process that confounds and confuses adults with all educational backgrounds. However, under the careful tutelage of Mrs. Kristi Sines, sixth grade students at Meyersdale Area Middle School, have not only studied but have an understanding of the process that is most impressive.

Following an extensive unit on the legislative process of creating and passing a law, Sines challenged her students to create a board game illustrating the steps of this difficult task.

“This year’s students surpassed my expectations of creating quality products showcasing the steps of the legislative process from start to finish. I was really impressed with the students creativity and conceptual design for a fun invigorating way of showing the challenges presented as a bill becomes a law,” Sines explained.

Game requirements include an accurate depiction of the steps in the bill-making process; and steps required in both the House of Representative and the Senate. Sines asked that students make a game that emphasizes the obstacles and challenges our lawmakers face each day.

Students were graded on their ability to show the process from the introduction of a bill to the final passage and eventual signing of the bill by the President of the United States; creativity; clear and concise directions and rules; and illustration of the process.

Now in the sixth year of this project, Sines says she continues to be impressed with the efforts of the students and their knowledge of the Legislative branch of our government.

“My hope is that the students also learned intangibles such as the importance of cooperatively working in groups, meeting deadlines and how to work together to meet challenges. These are skills that will resonate with students in all aspects of life,” Sines concluded.