Analyzing Congressional Representation

In this assignment, students will compare the demographics of their congressional district to the race or ethnicity and gender of the person who represents the district in the United States House of Representatives. Students will also compare the overall composition of the House to the demographic characteristics of the United States. Finally, students will assess how important or unimportant it is that the gender, race, and ethnicity of elected officials match the gender, race, and ethnic makeup of their districts and the nation as a whole.

Subjects: Social Studies, US Government

Prior Knowledge: Students should understand the separation of powers inherent in the constitutional system of the United States and the nature of republican or representative government. Students should understand the concepts of race, gender, and ethnicity. Students need to know how to access to library and Internet resources. Students need to be able to organize and analyze the results of their research. Students need to be able to write a report synthesizing their findings.

Key Concepts and Terms: Congressional District, Demographics, Proportional Representation, Representative (Adj.), Republican Form of Government, Separation of Powers, US House of Representatives, US Senate

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