Civics & Economicsby Matthew Caggia

Unit 5: Making Laws

Chapter 15 and Section 6.4

"... to insure domestic tranquility..." is one of the goals of government under the United States Constitution. For that purpose we have laws. Laws exist to protect people from each other, to provide some semblance of order to make sure that our Natural Rights are protected otherwise what is there to stop people from harming each other in their life, liberty, or property? This unit begins our investigation of the types of laws that exist in American legal culture and the origin of some of these ideas.

Study Tools

Online Textbook Resources

These pages contain the links to the online content for student practice. It includes Chapter Overviews, Web Activities, Self-Check Quizzes, ePuzzles and Games, Vocabulary Flashcards, Charts in Motion (to accompany diagrams in the textbook), and Interactive Graphic Organizers.


Link to Quizlet! Vocabulary is the key to understanding any subject. Once you can break down the barrier of language the ideas and concepts are wide open. Here you can find the vocabulary for the unit to practice by using online flash cards and by practicing online generated vocabulary quizzes.

  • Unit 5 Vocabulary Quiz on Quizlet
  • When you get to the Quizlet Quiz page, you can adjust what type of quiz to take by using the check boxes on the right.

    Slide Shows

    The slideshows are best viewed full screen. Slideshows will be blocked until AFTER the homework is due to encourage students to read the required sections of the textbook.

    How A Bill Becomes Law

    General Overview of How a Bill Becomes a Law. Pay attention to all the places where a bill could die. This accompanies section 6.4 from the textbook.

    How a Bill Becomes a Law Infographic

    A little more complex than the textbook discusses, this diagram runs through the process by which an idea, proposed to Congress as a bill, can become a law (or not become a law). Click on the image for full size. (Image by Mike Wirth)

    Types of Laws

    To accompany section 15.2 this presentation introduces civil, criminal, and public law.

    The American Legal System

    This presentation, to accompany section 15.3, reviews earlier concepts such as habeas corpus, bill of attainder, and ex post facto laws. It also introduces aspects of the legal system: bail, and plea bargain.


    Schoolhouse Rock: I'm Just A Bill

    THE classic School House Rock video - "I'm Just A Bill." This short video traces the life of a bill from its creation through passage to a law. Although it is quick, it covers it all. It could not hurt to watch more than once.

    Copyright M. Caggia 2016