Programs

We the People 2017-2018

 

We The People: The Citizen and the Constitution

 

we-the-people

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.

We the People State Finals

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 2018 Michigan We the People State Finals will be held Friday, January 12 at the Michigan Capitol Complex in Lansing.

 

School Registration

Schools: Sign Up to Compete or Showcase this January!

Fill Out Registration Form here:

http://bit.ly/WTPMIStateFinals2018

 

Information:

For Rules for the High School Competition, click here.

Class Roster for 2017-2018 We the People State Competition, click here.  

Please see the list of this year’s State Hearing Questions 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 their assistance in getting needed rooms at the Capitol, Farnum and Boji, and special thanks to the Michigan Senate and House.

 

Volunteers

The Michigan Center for Civic Education is recruiting judges and additional volunteers for the 2018 Michigan We the People State Finals. We hope you can join us!  

 

The State Finals will be held Friday, January 12 at the Michigan Capitol Complex (Capitol, Farnum, Boji) in Lansing. The day will begin with a judge orientation at 9:00 a.m. and run until approximately 3:00 p.m.

 

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 at http://new.civiced.org/wtp-the-program/hearings/judges-resources. 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.

If you are available to judge or otherwise volunteer, please complete the link below (http://bit.ly/WTPVolunteer2018) or send us an email at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. "> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Volunteer Here:

http://bit.ly/WTPVolunteer2018

 

 

 

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.

Watch an elementary hearing video >

Watch a high school hearing video >

 

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

Textbooks

We the People Elementary

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 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.

View sample lessons >

We the People High School

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.

WTP High School Correlation to Michigan Content Expectations (PDF, 3 MB)

Purchase information

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.


James Madison Legacy Project (3)

James Madison

 

Civics and Government Teachers!

The Michigan Center for Civic Education invites you to join a premier group of secondary teachers in a professional learning opportunity focused on the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program. MCCE was awarded funding by the Center for Civic Education through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Supporting Effective Educator Development (SEED). The grant supports professional development to qualifying Michigan Teachers.

The James Madison Legacy Project (JMLP) will provide you opportunities to:

● learn with Constitutional scholars,
● enhance student-centered teaching and learning,
● receive a classroom set of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution  instructional resources valued over $400 plus online resources,
● receive $500 stipend upon full participation plus travel stipends, lodging, meals, and substitute reimbursement,
● earn SCECH or graduate credit (for a fee),
● contribute to meaningful research on best practices in civic education. and
● collaborate with experienced mentor teachers.

In exchange, you will be asked to:

● infuse a minimum of 40 hours of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum and instruction into your designated classes,
● participate in our Professional Learning Community, an online discussion of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution curriculum and instruction,
● invite MCCE staff and mentor teachers to observe and support classroom instruction and curriculum,
● take a teacher knowledge pre and post-test,
● administer student knowledge pre- and post- test to the same group of students,
● involve students in the curricular culminating activity: simulated congressional hearing(s), and
● collect, provide, and share data from classes or students (consistent with the IRB process).

If accepted, you will join Michigan JMLP Cohort 3, a federally funded research and learning initiative. The Project is designed to measure both the impact the professional learning and curriculum has for teachers and the impact the program has on student learning and political efficacy, especially in high-need student populations.

Important Program Dates

• Summer Institute: July 23-28, 2017 - Lansing, MI
• November 16-17, 2017 - Grand Rapids, MI
• January 11-12, 2018 - Lansing, MI

*Exact agenda for November 16 and January 11 is in development so as to minimize the days teachers need to be out of the classroom.

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Content Focus

Unit 1: What are the Philosophical and Historical Foundations of the American Political System?
Unit 2: How did the Framers Create the Constitution?
Unit 3: How has the Constitution been Changed to Further the Ideals Contained in the Declaration of Independence?
Unit 4: How have the Values and Principles Embodied in the Constitution Shaped American Institutions and Practices?
Unit 5: What Rights does the Bill of Rights Protect?
Unit 6: What Challenges might Face American Constitutional Democracy in the Twenty-First Century?

Click here for JMLP Cohort 3 Registration Flyer

Click here for the JMPL Cohort 3 FAQ

Click here for JMLP Cohort 3 Application Form

 For additional information, please contact the Michigan Center for Civic Education at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .   Or, call Ellen Zwarensteyn, MCCE Professional Learning Coordinator at 248-321-4842.

Information about Michigan JMLP Cohort 2 is available here.

Information about Michigan JMLP Cohort 1 is available here.

Project Citizen (4)

TEST

Energy conservation, vending machines in schools, childhood obesity—these are just a sampling of the public policy issues that Michigan students have tackled as part of their involvement in Project Citizen.

project-citizen-logoProject Citizen is a program for upper elementary, middle, secondary, post-secondary students, and youth organizations, that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. Students work together to identify a problem, study policy issues related to the problem, develop a solution to the problem, and create an action plan for implementing their policy. In a culminating activity, students present in a simulated legislative hearing, demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of how public policy is formulated.

Project Citizen is a way to get students actively engaged in solving real life problems. Project Citizen connects students with members of the community who deal with community issues in real life.

Project Citizen involves a five step process:

  1. Identifying a problem in their community
  2. Gathering and evaluating information on the problem
  3. Examining and evaluation solutions
  4. Selecting or developing a proposed public policy solution
  5. Developing an Action Plan

To learn more about how to involve your class in Project Citizen, contact us.

Correlation of Project Citizen to Michigan's Grade Level Content Expectations (PDF, 115 KB)

 Michigan Senate Resolution to Recognize the Valuable Contributions of Project Citizen to Education and the Development of Active Citizenship.

Past participants and projects

Project Citizen (3)

 The Michigan Center for Civic Education is dedicated to conducting programs that give students the opportunity to practice the skills of citizenship.

Project Citizen is one of those programs.

Thanks to a grant from the Michigan Department of Education MCCE can once again bring Project Citizen Workshops to Michigan teachers.

 What is Project Citizen? Project Citizen is a program for upper elementary, middle, secondary, post-secondary students, and youth organizations, that promotes competent and responsible participation in local and state government. Students work together to identify a problem, study policy issues related to the problem, develop a solution to the problem, and create an action plan for implementing their policy. In a culminating activity, students present in a simulated legislative hearing, demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of how public policy is formulated.

How can I get involved?
MCCE will be conducting three workshops during the 2016-2017 school year. 

Participating in one of our workshops will provide critical foundational learning to bring Project Citizen to life in the classroom. Participants will receive content from public policy experts;  connections with local public policy makers; and proven and effective teaching strategies.

Teachers who attend and implement Project Citizen will receive:

• A FREE classroom set of materials;
• A stipend for completing the training (if held after school hours) or substitute reimbursement;
• Additional financial support for participation in a  student showcase;
• Ongoing instructional and curricular support;
• SCECH credits;
• A great community of teachers;

Two of the three sites are confirmed and will focus on Project Citizen at the secondary level.  The third site will be in west/northern Michigan.  Check back for more information.

Saturday, October 22, 2016, 8:30 am-2:30 p.m.
Wayne RESA, Wayne, MI
Contact David Hales at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   to inquire about openings.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016, 8:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.
Genesee ISD, Flint, MI;

 

Energy conservation, vending machines in schools, childhood obesity—these are just a sampling of the public policy issues that Michigan students have tackled as part of their involvement in Project Citizen.

 

project-citizen-logo

Project Citizen is a way to get students actively engaged in solving real life problems. Project Citizen connects students with members of the community who deal with community issues in real life.

Project Citizen involves a five step process:

  1. Identifying a problem in their community
  2. Gathering and evaluating information on the problem
  3. Examining and evaluation solutions
  4. Selecting or developing a proposed public policy solution
  5. Developing an Action Plan

To learn more about how to involve your class in Project Citizen, contact us.

Correlation of Project Citizen to Michigan's Grade Level Content Expectations (PDF, 115 KB)

 Michigan Senate Resolution to Recognize the Valuable Contributions of Project Citizen to Education and the Development of Active Citizenship.

Past participants and projects

James Madison Legacy Program - Cohort 2

Per grant criteria, preference is given to teachers with significant concentrations of high needs students. This criteria includes, but is not limited to, Title I Schools and schools with more than 30% free and reduced lunch.

In exchange for participating in and completing the above, I will receive:

  • 1 classroom set of WTP resources
  • 1 year teacher subscription to the WTP ebook
  • $500 stipend upon completion of the program requirements
  • Substitute reimbursement, lodging, meals, travel stipends
  • SCECH Credit
  or Reset
 

MCCE’s Resources, Programs, & Lessons

Educating for Citizenship

Educating for Citizenship is a conference for educators and community members that highlights best practices in law-related and civic education in Michigan and nationally.

Civic Education Teacher of the Year Award

Read More


 

Mock Trial

A Mock Trial is designed to reenact much of what might take place in a trial court.  Students take on the roles of attorneys and witnesses and compete against each other in real courtrooms in front of real judges and lawyers.

"[A] unique opportunity for young people to learn about the legal system..."

Read More