A Must-See Movie in Schools

The film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” follows the political life of a (fictitious) U.S. Senator Jefferson Smith. Mr. Smith is handpicked to replace a senator who has passed away, because political cronies believe he’ll take orders and not think for himself. To avoid spoilers, I’ll leave it at that. What’s remarkable about this movie is, that while it’s very entertaining, it also serves as an excellent civics lesson.

Claude_Rains_and_James_Stewart_in_Mr._Smith_Goes_to_Washington_(1939)

In this scene Senator Smith is poring over his constituents’ mail in the Senate Chamber.

The film teaches what happens when a new Senator is elected or appointed, how a bill becomes law, the duties of the President of the Senate, what it means to filibuster, the proper decorum in the Senate Chamber, including how seating is arranged; and the impact fake news can have on day-to-day lives. It also treats the viewer to a tour of many of Washington D.C.’s landmarks. It’s a must-see.

About Tina Nelson
Tina Nelson

Tina Nelson is an attorney and mom. She created the LAWSUIT™ board game to teach her three children about the law. The game was an instant success. Copyrights and a patent were obtained, and Professional Games, Inc. was born. Professional Games, Inc. created this blog to educate and keep its friends and customers regularly updated about our American legal system.
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