We The People

Welcome to We the People

Please use this page to learn more about We the People. We welcome K-12 schools to engage in meaningful civic education through the simulated congressional hearing process.

Volunteers! You are needed to enter into dialogue about current event and Constitutional issues.

About 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?

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The 2022-2023 We the People Showcase & Competition Season Dates and Questions

All MCCE events are being planned for in person – with a virtual option.  The We the People National finals, run by the Center for Civic Education, is tentatively in person.

Districts – Half Day Events 

  • East Side District – Wednesday, November 16, 2022 (updated)
  • West Side District – Friday, November 18, 2022. Each unit will be asked District Question #1. A consolidated Google Doc can be found here and the PDF here.

State Finals & Showcase – Full Day Event Logistics

  • State Final Championship and Showcase – Tentatively – Friday, January 6, 2023.  Hearings to begin at 9am with a school report time of 8-8:30 am.
  • MCCE is finalizing the location as the Capitol is not available for 2023. Please expect a location in Lansing or East Lansing for the same day and times.

Questions:

  • MCCE has determined which two questions will be asked for the state showcase and competition.  The questions were chosen to try to provide the whole unit experience – so after analysis of District Question #1, the two questions that best complimented the state questions for the state showcase and competition.
    • For a Google Doc version of the chosen questions is here and a PDF is here.
    • For the State Showcase – Questions are:
      • Unit 1 – CCE Qs 2 & 3
      • Unit 2 – CCE Qs 1 & 3
      • Unit 3 – CCE Qs 1 & 2
      • Unit 4 – CCE Qs 2 & 3
      • Unit 5 – CCE Qs 2 & 3
      • Unit 6 – CCE Qs 1 & 3

Center for Civic Education’s National Finals & Invitational

  • We the People Nationals – April 22-24, 2023 (scheduled to be in person)
  • We the People Invitational – April   20-21 (this is the middle school invitational – and is virtual)

2021-2022 We the People School Resources & Information