This nationally acclaimed civic education instructional
program enhances students' understanding of the institutions of American
constitutional democracy while allowing students to discover the contemporary
relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. 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. The design of the instructional program, including the innovative culminating
activity, is what makes the program a success.
The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students
"testify" before a panel of judges. At the high school level, schools
may participate in a State Competition, held in December, performing units
before a panel of notable governmental and political leaders. The top
performing high school team is eligible to attend the National Competition in
We the People Program Components
engage in rigorous study of the Constitution, participating in interactive
lessons and studying current issues. They build skills and knowledge consistent
with State Social Studies recommendations.
foundations of the American political system,
creation of the Constitution,
the Constitution has changed,
roles of the three branches of government,
we face in the 21st century.
participate in an engaging, simulated congressional hearing in which they
"testify” before a mock congressional committee of other students or
volunteer attorneys, educators and civic leaders.
(Optional culminating activity) Teams of secondary
school students participate in a statewide We the People Showcase and
Competition. In a simulated congressional hearing, each team explores important
questions related to the content of one unit of study.
A Program Rich in History
Created in 1987 in
celebration of the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, over 28 million
students across the country have participated in this innovative and acclaimed
Program Proven to Work
From the U.S.
Department of Education, see the We the People Evaluation Summary.
We the People encourages elementary,
middle and secondary teachers to conduct simulated hearings at the classroom,
school and community level. Participating teachers tell us that participating
in the We the People Simulated Hearing provides students with a rigorous,
active learning experience.
an elementary hearing video
a high school hearing video
New -- The Center for Civic Education has launched a partnership with Houghton
Mifflin Harcourt to distribute ebook editions of We the People: the Citizen
& the Constitution. The We the People enhanced ebook features
hundreds of videos, photos, fundamental documents and interactive exercises
that give students a rich, multimedia environment for learning about the
Constitution and the contemporary issues that impact today’s learners. Each
lesson also includes a built-in optional teacher/guide and audio
narration. For more information about the e-book or to find out how to
order, click here.
We the People - Elementary
The third edition of We the People: The Citizen & the
Constitution for upper elementary students explores the history and principles
of constitutional democracy in the United States. The text features a new
section on the Electoral College, updated material on when it is fair and
reasonable to limit free speech, and new and updated four-color graphics. The
teacher's edition includes culminating performance assessment materials and a
bibliography of children's literature.
View the table of contents
We the People -
We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution for middle grades is
composed of 6 units and 29 lessons that use critical-thinking exercises,
cooperative-learning practices and a culminating authentic performance
assessment to teach the history and principles of constitutional democracy.
We the People - High
The We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution high school
textbook consists of 6 units with 39 lessons addressing principles of
constitutional democracy and a culminating authentic performance assessment.
Each set includes 30 student books and a teacher's edition that provides materials
to enrich classroom learning. The We the People textbook is supported by a Resource Center.
We the People: The
Citizen and the Constitution Program Information
to Compete/Participation Form
Tips for Students
Sample Score Sheet