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EL Civics for ESL Students

The Capitol Building

EL Civics History and Government

Capitol Building
Capitol Building

Congress meets in the Capitol Building which is located in Washington, D.C.

Congress is the legislative branch of the American government. It includes both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Members of Congress are elected by U.S. citizens.

Congress makes federal laws, and it can also declare war.

Capitol Building Steps
Capitol Building Steps

There are 100 Senators and 435 voting members in the House of Representatives.

Some states have more Representatives than other states because they have more people.

Senators represent all the people in their state and Representatives represent all the people in their district.

Senators are elected for 6 years, and Representatives for 2 years. There is no limit on the number of times members of Congress can be elected.


The two major political parties in the United States are the Democrats and the Republicans.

If both the President and the Vice-President can no longer serve, the Speaker of the House becomes the President.


1. The U.S. Capitol Building is built on a hill. The hill is called Capitol Hill.

2. The U.S. capital spelled with an a is Washington, D.C. But the U.S. capitol spelled with an o is the Capitol Building.

3. A donkey represents the Democratic Party and an elephant represents the Republican Party.

4. The Republican Party is also called the GOP. GOP stands for Grand Old Party.

5. The Senate chamber is in the north wing of the capitol building and the House of Representatives is in the south wing. There are galleries where visitors can watch the Senate and House of Representatives.

Civics Quiz Questions

1. Who meets in the Capitol?

2. What branch of the government is Congress part of?

3. Can Congress declare war?

4. How many U.S. Representatives are there?

5. What are the two major political parties in the United States?

Civics and Government Lesson Activities

Washington, D.C. Crossword Puzzle  Answer Key

Washington, D.C. Quiz

U.S. Government Bingo

U.S. Capital Photo Story (music)