Grade 9-12
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Activity

Costs and Benefits of Political Decisions

Time: 30 mins,
Updated: May 6 2021,

Objective

Students will be able to:

  • Identify the costs and benefits of decisions by elected officials.

In this economics activity, students will examine potential influences on political decision-making.

Procedure

This individual activity will require students to address a current topic from the viewpoint of elected officials, with the influence of constituents, lobbyists, and their own campaign promises. When deciding how to vote on pieces of legislation, elected officials need to consider the impacts on their constituents, lobbyists, and any campaign promises they made. Because their votes are public record, these influences are important factors in their decision-making. Choose to implement the Quizizz Activity or ReadyAssessments Activity. You may assign the topic or allow students to choose their own.  Then, have the students complete the activity by following the instructions below:

  • Using a current political issue and an elected official representing your Congressional District (your hometown), answer the Elected Officials Variables open-ended questions in the activity. Keep in mind, the person elected to Congress represents you and his/her vote is influenced by a variety of other sources: the people who elected him/her, potential lobbyists who have a vested interest in the issue, and any promises or party politics that may impact the vote made by your legislator. When voting, elected officials are weighing their costs and benefits about political decisions that impact your life.
  • Write a one-page letter to your legislator expressing your personal perspective on the issue. Submit your letter to your teacher as assigned.