We the People
The primary goal of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s elementary and secondary students. What makes the program so successful is the design of its instructional program, including its innovative culminating activity.
The instructional program enhances students understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” before a panel of judges. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
|Preparing For The Challenges Of Citizenship|
Simulated Congressional Hearing Competitions
Participants hold a simulated congressional hearing as the culminating activity for the We the People program. The entire class, working in cooperative teams, prepares and presents statements before a panel of community representatives who act as congressional committee members. Students then answer questions posed by the committee members. The format provides students an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles while providing teachers with an excellent means of assessing performance.
Elementary school level classes may conduct noncompetitive hearings in front of a classroom or auditorium-size audience with community members acting as judges. Teachers at the middle and high school level may also conduct non-competitive hearings. However, middle school classes have the option of participating in the virtual competition detailed below and high school classes are encouraged to participate in the nationwide competitive program. High school competition begins at the congressional district level with teams from each school vying for the district championship. District winners go on to compete at a statewide hearing, and state champions travel to Washington, D.C. in the spring to represent their state in the We the People National Finals.
Additional information on the middle school competition may be obtained from Erin Watson at email@example.com.
Registration for next year’s state competition is not currently open yet.
If you are in Miami-Dade County, please contact Jackie Viana (firstname.lastname@example.org) about your district competition.
High School Level
We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution State Finals Competition
High School State Hearing Questions and Score Sheets
|Class Summary Score Sheet|
|State Hearing Questions Score Sheets Units 1-6|
High School Guidelines
|Hearing Schedules Guidelines|
|High School Rules Of Competition|
|Sample Hearing Question Grid|
|Tips For Preparing Your Students|
Middle School Level
We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution Middle School Competition
Middle School Hearing Questions and Score Sheets
|Middle School Score Sheet|
|Sample Hearing Question Grid|
Middle School Guidelines
Below is a list of materials to assist middle school teachers in preparing for a We the People Mock Congressional Hearing. These are sample generic resources only to be used for process purposes. Where the content may be different from the current questions for the academic year, the process for breaking down the questions is the same. The questions for each year will be provided separately.
|Unit 1 Middle School Pilot|
|Unit 2 Middle School Pilot|
|Unit 3 Middle School Pilot|
|Unit 4 Middle School Pilot|
|Unit 5 Middle School Pilot|
|Unit 6 Middle School Pilot|
|Units 1 And 2 Webinar PowerPoint||pptx|
We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution National Finals Competition
The We the People program curriculum includes textbooks, lessons, and other Center for Civic Education resources. The curriculum provides upper elementary, middle, and high school students with a course of instruction on the history and principles of the United States constitutional democracy.
Please click on the following link to learn more about the We the People textbooks: http://new.civiced.org/wtp-the-program/curriculum/textbooks
Update: A new edition of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution Level 2 (middle school) textbook has been released by the Center for Civic Education. This newly revised edition features updated text, images, and exercises to ensure that the next generation of Americans has the intellectual tools they need to become informed and engaged citizens. An updated teacher’s guide will be available in spring 2017.
All three levels of We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution are now also aligned with the Common Core State Standards:
If you are teaching the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum in your classroom and would like to request a classroom visit or would like assistance in arranging a tour of the Capitol or the Florida Supreme Court while visiting Tallahassee, please forward your request to Erin Watson, Program Director at email@example.com.
For additional information on the We the People: the Citizen and the Constitution Program, please contact Erin Watson as well (firstname.lastname@example.org).