Teaching Students About President Pro Tempore Of the Senate
The President Pro Tempore of the Senate is an often neglected topic in social studies courses, but it is an important role when discussing the functions and hierarchy of the United States government. The position of President Pro Tempore holds a unique place within the Senate, and understanding its duties and powers can help students gain a deeper insight into how their government works. This article will outline a teaching strategy for introducing this topic to your students.
1. Historical context:
Begin by giving your students an overview of the historical context of the President Pro Tempore role. Broadly discuss how this position was created during the drafting of the U.S. Constitution in 1787 and highlight its importance in maintaining order in the Senate and serving as a temporary presiding officer when needed.
2. Notable Presidents Pro Tempore:
Present your students with notable past Presidents Pro Tempore, such as John Tyler, Charles Curtis, and Hubert H. Humphrey. Explain how these individuals played significant roles in U.S. politics during their time in office, emphasizing the importance of understanding their contributions to American history.
3. Roles and responsibilities:
Discuss in detail the primary roles and responsibilities of the President Pro Tempore which include:
– Presiding over the Senate when it’s needed.
– Assuming acting presidency when both president and vice president are unable to perform their duties or their offices become vacant.
– Being part of senate leadership serving as advisors to decisions within Senate.
– Assisting with administrative tasks (such as referring bills to committees) upon request.
4. Election process:
Explain to your students how senators elect a President Pro Tempore from among themselves at each new Congress’s beginning and how that person is traditionally chosen from the majority party’s senior senator.
5. Incorporating multimedia resources:
To effectively teach about this position, incorporate videos, slideshows, news articles, and other multimedia resources that center on the President Pro Tempore’s role and its significance in American politics. By using diverse teaching materials, students will more easily retain information about this essential government position.
6. Class discussion and debate:
Encourage students to debate the importance of the President Pro Tempore compared to other government roles, such as the Speaker of the House. Develop a list of questions that can help guide and facilitate discussion points to help broaden students’ perspectives on the role’s significance.
Teaching students about the President Pro Tempore of the Senate is crucial for understanding american political structure and processes. Through thorough historical context, engaging multimedia resources, and class discussions, these lessons can enlighten young minds about an often underappreciated figure in their government.