The Senate Game
Use your journal to create a typed, well-organized assessment that answers the following questions:
- What did you learn about what it takes to be a Senator?
- What were the most difficult parts of your job?
- What did you enjoy about the job of being a Senator?
- Do you feel that this game was an effective way to learn about how a Senator does their job? Explain.
- Do you feel that this game was an effective way to learn about how a bill becomes a law? Explain.
You have a choice of answering each of these questions on their own (as standalone questions)
for a higher grade, answering all of them as part of a well-organized essay that assesses this game as an assignment meant to teach you about how the Senate operates and how a bill becomes a law as well as being a review tool for your upcoming test on the Legislative Branch of our government.
© E. Brent 2017
For Word docs with the materials necessary to play this game please scroll to the bottom of the page.
There are three separate decks:
- The Action Card Deck
- The Legislation Deck
- The State and Issues Deck
- GETS A PROFILE SHEET
- GETS A LEGISLATION PATH CARD
- IS DEALT THREE ACTION CARDS (These cards do not have to be played, They are extra cards that you can choose to use at any time during the game, or they can just be held to
- Starting with the oldest player and continuing to the left, each player takes a STATE & ISSUES card. (If all players have chosen a card with the same party (all Democrat or all Republican, then players continue to pick another STATE & ISSUES card until a card with the missing party is selected.)
- Starting with the oldest player and continuing to the left, each Player picks a LEGISLATION CARD from the top of the Legislation Deck. The card must match the Players party. If it does not the player returns the card to the bottom of the Legislation Deck and play moves to the next player
- Only Players who have successfully found a Legislation Card from their own party may begin to play. Those who do not, continue trying as the turn proceeds left around the board.
- If a player picks a Legislation card with their own party on it, then they place it face up o their LEGISLATION PATH CARD on the space marked “1. START: Place the bill you are proposing right HERE”
4. Picking an Action Card
- When their turn comes around again the Player has a choice of picking from the top of the action card deck OR from another player’s hand.
- If the Player picks from another player’s hand they must use the card immediately even if the card has a negative affect on the Player who drew the card. If the Player picks a card from the Action Card Deck they may choose to use it right away or hold it as part of their hand for later use.
- You MUST play one and only one ACTION CARD per turn, even if the card has a negative affect on your score.
- NOTE: You can use your ACTION CARD on opponents of the same party, if it benefits you. (Keep in mind that if you use the card on an opponent of the same party you lose 5% points in your PARTY SUPPORT column. So only do this if you can afford to lose Party Support.)
5. The player looks at their hand and decides if there are any cards that they can put down for their own gain: (use to gain money, percentage points or advance their legislation) or to use against one of the other Players
6. ACTION CARDS affect how the game proceeds and their use can help you win and make your opponents lose.
7. Each turn consist of three parts:
- Picking an Action Card
- Using an Action Card
- Adding any gains or losses in Money, Popularity or Party Support to your PROFILE SHEET.
- Moving your LEGISLATION CARD ahead on the Legislation Path Card if applicable
8. Using the Action Card
- There are many different cards in the Action Card Deck. Some cards can help you, some can hurt you, some cards can make trouble for your opponent(s) and some cards can help an opponent who is of the same Party that you are.
- When you draw a card read it carefully and decide how to use it. You do not have to use it right away. If you just want to add it to your hand do so and tell the rest of the players that you are all done.
- Each card will tell you how it can be used.
- If it is a card that is a benefit to you add the points or money down on one of the three categories noted on your PROFILE SHEET:
$ CAMPAIGN WAR CHEST $
- If it is a card is harmful to you, you must likewise deduct the points or money from the running total of one of the three categories noted on your PROFILE SHEET.
- (NOTE: If you are above the necessary amounts for winning in any of these categories you may choose to give the card to an opponent of the same party. If you do this you automatically go up 5% points in your PARTY SUPPORT column. However, you should only do this if you are in need of Party support
- An ACTION CARD may also help your legislation move ahead on your LEGISLATION PATH CARD, it may also just as likely make your legislation stagnate by making you lose a turn or even make you start allover by killing your bill and making you start all over again by picking another LEGISLATION CARD. (If this happens, just as in the beginning of the game, the player may not continue play until they pick another legislation card from the same party.
The Object of the Game:
TO WIN THE GAME: A player must:
- Have satisfied all the categories on his Profile sheet. That is to say…
- Your $ CAMPAIGN WAR CHEST $ must have at least $1 Million Total
- Your CONSTITUENT POPULARITY must be above 51%
- Your PARTY SUPPORT must be above 51%
- Have moved their LEGISLATION CARD to the final space on their Legislation Path Card that says: CONGRATULATIONS YOUR BILL IS NOW A LAW! Once your BILL is there no negative Legislation Action Cards may be used on you.
ALTERNATE WAY TO WIN:
(If a game must be stopped before someone reaches the above victory condition, then the the categories should be added up and totaled like so:
- 10 points for every step advanced on the Legislation Path
- 10 points for every $100,000 or part of $100,000 accumulated. (example $550,000 would be worth 60 points)
- 10 points for every 10 percentage points of Constituent Popularity.
- 10 points for every 10 percentage points of Party support.
LINKS FOR GAME MATERIALS:
The Team at Educator Pages