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 11 at the Michigan Capitol Complex in Lansing.
Schools: Sign Up to Compete or Showcase this January!
Fill Out Registration Form here:
- Rules for the High School Competition
- Class Roster Form for the We the People State Competition
- List of this year’s State Hearing Questions for the 2019 State Competition
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.
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:
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.
- View sample lessons >
- View the table of contents >
- WTP Elementary Correlation to Michigan Content Expectations (PDF, 78 KB)
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.