Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Teaching Students about Filibuster

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to teach my students about the filibuster.  One thing that I have learned about U.S. History and Government students is that they are very curious about a filibuster.  What exactly is it?  Really they have to stand the whole time? What if they have to go to the bathroom?  The record is over 24 hours?!  How did he manage that?!
Picture from: http://www.tvrage.com/The_West_Wing/episodes/215378 
So, after going over a few background things and making sure students know about the Senate and a cloture etc.  We watch clips from one of my favorite West Wing episodes!  The Stackhouse Filibsuter from Episode 2 is great because it shows how a filibuster is done and how it ends.  The students really strive off of the visual.  I fast-forward through the non-essential plot parts, because as all good TV has more than one story line going through.  So, I highly recommend that as how to teach filibuster.  Here is a quick clip to give you a taste:

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