Communicator Home
 Dirksen Center | CongressLink | AboutGovernment | Congress for Kids | Congress in the Classroom Online

Search This Site

Answers -- Fun, Facts, and Trivia
March 2003 Issue

The Dirksen Center wants to help teachers teach better by giving them the opportunity to use technology to create, customize, and share online learning activities in their classrooms. The Center wants to help students learn more by bringing educational resources together in one place that provide new ways to learn about Congress interactively.

Learning Legislation Lingo

State legislatures usually draw congressional district lines, but federal courts sometimes draw districts when the original plans lose a constitutional challenge. The majority party, to maximize the chances for its candidates to win elections, often draws the boundaries. Governor Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts approved a bill in 1812 creating such an oddly shaped district that his critics called it a "gerrymander." Learn more about gerrymandering and how it relates to the reapportionment and redistricting of congressional seats by completing the printable worksheet posted on Congress for Kids. Find Congressional Districts: 108th Congress at:

1. The U.S. states of the Southwest and West have gained representatives, and those of the Northeast and Midwest lost them, through the process called _______ that followed the last few federal censuses.
Answer: Reapportionment

2. True or False: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states may not place a legal limit on how many terms their elected congressional representatives may serve.
Answer: True

3. Gov. Elbridge Gerry signed into law an 1812 elections bill that included a salamander-shaped congressional district sure to elect Republicans to office. As a result, strategically designed election districts are now called _______s, and the act of drawing such districts is called _______ing.
Answers: Gerrymanders/Gerrymandering

4. A representative who considers it his or her job to express the district will of voters back home is often called a _______, whereas one who emphasizes his or her own best judgment is often called a _______.
Answers: Delegate/Trustee

Answers to February’s issue of Fun, Facts, and Trivia link here:

Do you have or know of an online activity you would like The Dirksen Congressional Center to feature on its new Web site for students -- Congress for Kids? The Center is currently seeking online activities that provide new ways to learn about Congress and the workings of the federal government interactively.

If you have questions or suggestions for online activities, contact Cindy Koeppel.

Join the Communicator mailing list






Communicator Home Page