WebQuest: The Job of Leading Congress
The Task for Learners
After a long but successful campaign, you have been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the district in which you reside. One of your first actions will be to vote for the leader of your political party in the House. If you are a member of the majority, this person will be the Speaker of the House. If you are in the minority, this person will be the Minority Leader.
Your task is to decide what qualifications a person would need to be a leader so that you can explain your position to your constituents.
You have the following tasks ahead of you:
Finding out who your Congressman is and to which political party he belongs.
Identifying high-quality Internet sites with information about congressional leadership positions and the people who occupy them.
Researching these positions.
Writing a report to your constituents explaining what the leader of your party in the House does.
Comparing what House leaders do with Senate leaders.
1. Identify your own Congressman. Visit
and find the section about the current Congress, e.r., “Congress: The 108th.”
2. Visit her or his Web site and determine if they are a member of the Republican or Democratic Party. If they are an Independent, find out with which party they vote in that party’s caucus or conference.
3. Determine which political party is in the majority in the House (see
4. Locate a description of the duties of either the Speaker of the House if you are a member of his party) or the Minority Leader (if you are a member of his party).
5. Find other Internet sites that provide the following information: the name of the current leader, information about him, and information about his leadership position (congressional leaders sometimes have separate Web sites about themselves and about their leadership office).
6. Write a report to your constituents explaining what your leader does and what qualities you believe are necessary for him to be successful.
7. Find an example of news coverage of your leader’s actions (see AboutGovernment, using the navigation bar at the top of this page). Use this to evaluate his or her effectivness based on the report you prepared for step 6. Add a paragraph or two explaining your findings.
8. OPTIONS. Compare and contrast the duties of House and Senate leaders. Compare and contrast the duties of the Speaker and Minority Leader.
all provide information about our current members, majority, and current legislation.
). This site provides links to more than 250 Web sites about the federal government, including scores about the U.S. Congress.
Speaker of the House Web site (
) has information about the selection, history, and duties of the post.
House Majority Leader’s site (