We The People

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution

The Michigan Center for Civic Education has directed the We the People…the Citizen and the Constitution program in Michigan since the program began in 1987 as a special program to commemorate the Bicentennial of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Developed by the Center for Civic Education, the primary goal of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students.

We the People engages students in a curriculum designed to foster understanding of the institutions of American democracy, including the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students “testify” before a panel of volunteer attorneys, educators, and civic leaders. A prepared response and a conversation between students and their panel of judges highlights the best of both student-centered pedagogy and Constitutional scholarship.

During the State Finals, students have opportunities to address panels and testify on critical Constitutional questions of the day. Judges then engage our young Constitutional scholars in dialogue on the content, history, and current applications of the Constitution.

The 2019 Michigan We the People State Finals will be held Friday, January 10, 2020 at the Michigan Capitol Complex in Lansing.

2019-2020 School Registration Information:

2019-2020 Information will be posted soon!

Districts! Eastern region – Wednesday, November 20, place tba

Western region – Friday, November 22, at the Kent ID

Please reserve Friday, January 10, 2020 for the showcase and competition in the Lansing Capitol Complex.


2018-2019 School Registration Information:

Schools: Sign Up to Compete or Showcase this January!
Fill Out Registration Form here:


For additional information on scoring, judge instructions, and hearing examples, visit the Center for Civic Education at: http://www.civiced.org/wtp-the-program/hearings/high-school.

MCCE also thanks the offices of Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood for his assistance in getting needed rooms at the Capitol. Thank you to all members and staff of the House and Senate for sharing your space with us.

Volunteer Here!

The Michigan Center for Civic Education is recruiting judges and additional volunteers for the 2019 Michigan We the People State Finals. We hope you can join us!

Please consider lending your talents to the 2019 State Competition and Showcase. Students from across the state will rely on academic experts, people in the field, and all people supportive of civic education to make the event happen. The State Finals will be held Friday, January 11 at the Michigan Capitol Complex in Lansing. The day will begin with a judge orientation at 9:00 a.m. and run until approximately 3:15 p.m.Volunteer here:

Thank you for volunteering for the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution State Finals - January 11, 2019 at the Michigan Capitol Complex.

Total time commitment will be approximately 9:00 a.m. until 3:15 p.m. A box lunch will be provided to all volunteers.

Please respond no later than December 14, 2018 with your availability.
Thank you in advance for your commitment to developing efficacious and civic minded youth.

Your time, energy, and expertise helps impact the next generation of Constitutional thought. You make it possible to host these events for our amazing students!

I would like to volunteer as: (please complete your first and second choice. Please provide any additional detail in the other description if helpful)

Did you participate in the We the People program as a high school student? (Please check if you are an alum of the program.

I am committing to volunteering at these 2019 State Finals and Showcase. I plan on being available for the whole day.

By registering I acknowledge the Michigan Center for Civic Education (MCCE) may use the likeness, images, video, and names of students and adults affiliated with my school’s participation. I understand the above may be used for press releases, social media, school communications, video promotions, and other related communications. Should a student, school, or member choose to withdraw from this agreement, the school or participant has an affirmative obligation to submit written notification to MCCE staff who will sign the document prior to the beginning of an event and an obligation to remove one’s self from posed pictures.

By registering, I acknowledge full compliance with the Adult Code of Conduct for myself, coaches, and adults I bring into the event space. A full copy of the Code can be reviewed here.
By registering I also agree to uphold the Code of Conduct for students and adults per the Mock Trial Handbook.

My acknowledgment below indicates my availability to be fully present at the events as indicated above. I understand the importance of my work to the students involved and commit to communicating to MCCE any change in my availability asap. By completing this form, you are committing to volunteer at the dates and times above. We will contact you with more details as the day approaches, we ask that you please put this event in your calendar today! Thank you tremendously.

Thank you for your civic virtue!

What might I do as a volunteer? The competition is in the format of a simulated congressional hearing. High School classes present testimony and answer questions about historical, political, and constitutional issues. Judges evaluate student testimonies and probe their knowledge and understanding during a question and answer period. You can get a quick overview of the program here. For additional information on scoring, judge instructions, and hearing examples, visit the Center for Civic Education here.

If you are available to judge or otherwise volunteer, please complete the form below or Contact Us.

Opportunities for Teacher Learning

MCCE often provides week long summer institutes where teachers undergo rigorous training in Constitutional scholarship plus the instructional support for implementing We the People in the classroom. Please check back soon for information of this summer’s institute.

We the People as Classroom Instruction: Non-Competitive Simulated Hearings

MCCE encourages elementary 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 highlighting the best of student-centered learning.

Textbook and EBook Resources

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.

We the People Middle School

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 School

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 is aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies. There are separate correlations for the textbook and mobile editions (© 2009) and the enhanced ebook (© 2014). The textbook and mobile edition correlations were performed by the Maryland Department of Education; the enhanced ebook correlations were performed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Get Involved with Civic Education in Michigan!