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, responsibility, appreciation, and enthusiasm for the Constitution and our societal issues 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 with a specialization in the Bill of Rights. Culminating activities feature 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.

What are the areas of specialization?

We the People is a competition in the format of a simulated congressional hearing.  High School classes present testimony and answer questions about historical, political, and Constitutional issues.  Students are expected to be generalists in overall Constitutional knowledge and specialists in one of six units of in-depth study. Those are:

  • 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?

2021-2022 We the People School Resources & Information

The 2021-2022 We the People Showcase & Competition Season

All MCCE events are tentatively virtual for 2021-2022. This includes districts and state events. The We the People National finals, run by the Center for Civic Education, is tentatively in person.

Districts

  • East Side District – Wednesday, November 17, 2021
  • West Side District – Friday, November 19, 2021

State Finals & Showcase

  • State Finals & Championship – Friday, January 7, 2022

Center for Civic Education’s National Finals & Invitational

  • We the People Nationals – April 22-25, 2022
  • We the People Invitational – April 29-May 2, 2022

Districts

Dates: November 17 (East) and November 19 (West – KISD), 2021

Each unit will be asked District Question #3

A full list of district questions can be found here: https://civiced.org/images/stories/WeThePeople/The_Program/Hearings/districtlevelhearingquestionshs.pdf 

Please see below for a consolidated formatting of Question 3. 

States 

January 7, 2022

The full list of State Questions are here – https://files.civiced.org/pdfs/WTP/StateHearingQuestions2021-22.pdf 

MCCE has determined which two questions will be asked for the state showcase and competition. Please see the portion of the document below. The decisions were made to try to provide the whole unit experience – so after analysis of District Question #3, the two questions that best complimented the state questions for the state showcase and competition. 

Unit 1 – Questions 1 and 2 

Unit 2 – Questions 1 and 2 

Unit 3 – Questions 1 and 2 

Unit 4 – Questions 2 and 3 

Unit 5 – Questions 1 and 3 

Unit 6 – Questions 1 and 3 

These questions have been formatted in this Google document.

A PDF is also here.

We the People Classroom Resources

Please visit the resource page here for additional We the People classroom resources.