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 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.


We the People State Finals

The 2016 Michigan We the People State Finals was held January 8 at the Michigan Capitol Complex in Lansing.

Congratulations to East Grand Rapids High School, led by teacher Janice Yates for their 1st place finish.  East Kentwood High School (Hillary Baker, teacher) finished 2nd and Marquette High School (Fred Cole, teacher) finished 3rd.    

Other participating schools included Cesar Chavez Academy High School, Detroit; Coldwater High School; Howell High School; Hudsonville High School; Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills; The Potter’s House, Wyoming; and Richmond High School.

This year, Michigan will have two teams representing us at the 29th Annual We the People National Finals April 22-25 on the campus of the University of Maryland, and in hearing rooms on Capitol Hill. First place winner East Grand Rapids will advance.  In addition, Michigan has been awarded a wildcard spot this year making second place East Kentwood high school eligible to advance as well.

Click here to view the 2016 National Finals questions.

During the State Finals, students face panels of judges who  engage them in dialouge on the content, history, and current applications of the Constitution.  

The Michigan Center for Civic Education thanks the 2016 volunteers listed below.

2016 Volunteers:

 Lynn Baker, Teacher (Ret.), Kentwood Public Schools

Dana Baldwin
Mary Nell Baldwin, Consultant, Kent ISD
Lorna T. Beard, Legal Counsel, Michigan Legislature
Joni Bibler, Attorney
Montgomery Brown, Program Director, Earhart Foundation
Jim Cameron, Social Studies Consultant, Michigan Department of Education
Hal O. Carroll, Attorney and Counselor, Law Office of Hal O. Carroll
Adam DeLay, Constituent Service Representative, Office of US Senator Debbie Stabenow
Kristi Dougan, Voter Outreach Coordinator, Michigan Department of State
Chadd Dowding, Program Manager, Cook Leadership Academy, Grand Valley State University
Rachael L. Drenovsky, Learning Center Coordinator, Michigan Supreme Court
Atea Duso, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Midland County Prosecutors Office
Brian D. Einhorn, Attorney, Collins, Einhorn & Farrell PC
Craig E. Feringa, Attorney, Law Office of Craig E. Feringa
Constance Flynn, Teacher (Ret.) Kentwood Public Schools
John Flynn, Attorney
Donald Fulkerson, Attorney, Law Offices of Donald M. Fulkerson
Branden W. Graf, Attorney
Christopher Hawkins, Commander, Michigan State Police Legislative and Legal Resources Section
David Johnson, Consultant, Wexford-Missaukee ISD
Joseph Katz, President, Katz and Associates, Inc.
Avar P. Laws-Wright, Administrative Law Judge, State of Michigan
Matthew James Linden, Attorney
Tom Macaulay
Robert Mathis, Pro Bono Service Counsel, State Bar of Michigan
Bruce McAttee, Mid-Michigan Regional Representative, Office of US Senator Gary Peters
Barbara McGregor. Education Specialist, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Molly Patterson, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Aquinas College
Richard Patterson, Administrative Law Judge (Ret.)
Susan Patterson, Michigan Lawyers Alliance
Stuart Pigler, Deputy District Director, Office of US Representative Mike Bishop
Pat Piskulich, Associate Professor of Political Science, Oakland University
Kristen Rewa, Assistant City Attorney, City of Grand Rapids
Kandra Robbins, Administrative Law Judge, Michigan Administrative Hearing System
Karl Schneider, Student, Michigan State University
Eric Schroeder, Staff Attorney, Cooley Innocence Project, WMU Cooley Law School
Scott R. Shimkus, Assistant Attorney General, Michigan Department of Attorney General
Kevin Shopshire, Former Legislative Aide
Jordan Smith, Political Science Student, Michigan State University
Roy Sovis, Social Studies Consultant, Genesee ISD
Steven Susser, Attorney, Carlson Gaskey & Olds PC
Ray Walker, Teacher (Ret), Grosse Ile High School
Shelli Weisberg, Legislative Director, ACLU of Michigan
Ana Wolken, Constituent Service Representative, Office of US Senator Debbie Stabenow
Griffin Working, Mid-Michigan Regional Representative, Office of US Senator Gary Peters
Paul Zavala, Attorney

For the 2013-2014 State Hearing Questions, click here. e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 for registration information.  Registration Deadline is October 31, 2012For

For Rules for the High School Competition, click here.

To learn more about the Michigan High School We the People State Finals, watch this great video from Rep. Cindy Denby, long time We the People judge.


 MCCE also thanks the officers of Senator Roger Kahn, Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood, and Representative Cindy Denby for their assistance in getting needed rooms at the Capitol, Farnum and Boji, and special thanks to the Michigan Senate and House.

Non-Competitive Culminating 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.

Watch an elementary hearing video >

 Watch 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 hereTextbooks

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.

We the People  textbook and mobile editions (© 2009)  Grades 11-12

We the People  enhanced ebook (© 2014)  Grades 9-10  Grades 11-12

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

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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..."

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