7th Grade Visits the U.S. Capitol

How do you feel about creating a Federal law prohibiting texting while in a vehicle (even if you’re not the driver)?  What about removing the word “God” from the national motto, “In God We Trust” due to separation of church and state?  These questions and more came up when the 7th grade met with Senator Ben Cardin as part of a visit to the U.S. Capitol.  
The Capitol trip was the culminating activity in a grade-wide study of Civics and the Constitution.  This day-long experience included a tour of the Capitol, the meeting with Senator Cardin, and a brief visit to the gallery of the House of Representatives.  Without a doubt, though, speaking with Senator Cardin was the highlight of the day.  He discussed what it meant to be a Senator, and raised some real-life examples that a law-maker encounters. The 7th graders soon realized that most issues are more complex than they initially considered, and began to develop an appreciation for the debate process.  By the end of the day, thanks to the Senator and to the visit in general, “We the People” gained a new level of significance in the students’ minds.