We the People High School

Rep. Bob Cupp addresses the We the People students at he close of the competition
Rep. Bob Cupp addresses the We the People students at he close of the competition

Photographs by Dave Liggett

Congratulations to all the 2016 High School We the People State Competition and Invitational participants! Thanks also to the competition judges and volunteers, whose time and expertise helped provide an authentic learning experience for students.

     1st Place- Findlay High School

2nd Place- Van Wert High School

3rd Place- West Carrollton High School

4th Place- Archbold High School

Invitational Participant: Northmont High School


About We The People

      We the People...​The Cit­i­zen and the Con­sti­tu­tion is an in­struc­tional pro­gram that teaches the his­tory and prin­ci­ples of the Amer­i­can con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy while enhancing students' understanding of government. Students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights at the same time. The program is based on materials developed by the Center for Civic Education and is nationally acclaimed by educators. We the Peo­ple is aligned to the Ohio Learning Standards for So­cial Stud­ies and Eng­lish Lan­guage Arts.

We the People has a built-in authentic performance assessment: simulated congressional hearings. The simulated hearings allow students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.


Format of Simulated Congressional Hearings

  • The students prepare and “testify” before the simulated congressional hearing’s judging panel as expert witnesses on the Constitution.


  • A class is divided into six groups, based on the six units of the curriculum.  Each group has 3-6 students, depending on the size of the class
  • Each group works collaboratively to prepare answers to all the questions for the unit.
  • Students review materials in the We the People textbook and research other materials, preparing a four-minute response to the question for each unit and to get ready to answer follow up questions related to the initial question.

Hearing (10 minutes per question)

  • Groups of students orally respond to questions for four minutes (notes can be used)
  • The judging panel asks students follow up questions and students respond (no notes allowed) for six minutes.
  • The judging panel members assess the prepared oral presentation and the responses to the follow up questions using a scoring rubric.

Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine Introduce We the People:



State Competition and Invitational

The We the People State Competition will be Friday, January 22, 2016 at the Ohio Statehouse. The winner of the State Competition will advance to represent Ohio at the We the People National Finals. Running concurrently with the State Competition will be the inaugural Ohio We the People State Invitational.  This is an open event for teams that would like to participate in a non-competitive structure.  This is perfect for groups who would not traditionally meet the definition of a class, do not prepare all six units, have a smaller number of students, or otherwise need some accommodation.  Participants in the Invitational will participate at the same time as the State Competition with the same judges and structure, but will not be eligible to advance to the National Finals.

For details,information and registration for the 2016 High School We the People State Competition and Invitational CLICK HERE.

The 2015-16 High School We the People State Competition/Invitational questions have been released.  Click HERE to view them.


Watch this two minute news story video about the 2015 High School We the People State Competition



We the People Textbooks

      We the Peo­ple text­books are avail­able for the el­e­men­tary, mid­dle, and high school lev­els to aid in the teach­ing of the cur­ricu­lum.  Visit store.civiced.org for the full se­lec­tion of books avail­able, in­clud­ing or­der­ing en­tire class sets of text­books.

  The We the People textbook is also available in multiple digital formats, including an enhanced e-book.  Visit http://new.civiced.org/resources/publications/ebooks to learn more.  To view videos providing an in-depth look at how to use the newest enhanced e-book, visit http://www.oclre.org/we-people-resources  For additional information regarding e-books, contact the Center for Civic Education at 818-591-9321. 


We the People Professional Development

     OCLRE is pleased to offer an opportunity to deliver 35 hours of free, in-depth content and pedagogy professional development over the course of the 2016-17 school year through the James Madison Legacy Project. In addition to the professional development sessions, participants will receive a $500 stipend and a classroom set of textbooks as part of their involvement.  Visit the James Madison Legacy Project website for application and more information.  

Seeing is believing. Teachers are invited to be the guests of OCLRE to observe the state competition. Contact Tim Kalgreen (tkalgreen@oclre.org; 614-485-3515) for more information.

If there is a strong interest in your school for We the People, OCLRE will provide a personalized professional development, provided there is a minimum of five attendees, one of whom is an OCLRE member. Contact Kate Strickland (kstrickland@oclre.org, 614-485-3501) for more information.  

We the People Video Tutorial!

Teacher PJ Babb and her students from West Carrollton High School demonstrate a We the People hearing.  This video will show you how to get started and learn about student benefits, hearing structure, scoring details, resources, and more.   



Fourth Annual We the People National Invitational

The Center for Civic Education will host the Fourth Annual We the People National Invitational April 29 – May 2, 2016.  The National Invitational is designed to provide middle and high school students with the opportunity to showcase their civic learning at the national level while bringing their classroom lessons to life in touring our nation’s capital. To learn more, contact the Center for Civic Education at civiced.org or 818-591-9321

Digital copy of textbook available for competition judges

While participating students are encouraged to do outside research, all competition questions are based on the We the People Textbook.  Whether you have judged in the past or this is your first time, a digital copy of the textbook is available to you.  You may use the book as a reference for basic information about the unit you are judging.  Click HERE to view the e-book.  Viewing of the e-book is password-protected and the username/password is included in the judging confirmation letter.  Contact Tim Kalgreen (tkalgreen@oclre.org;  614-485-3515) if you need the username/password.

Interested in serving as a judge or facilitator at the We the People High School State Showcase?  2015-2016 Volunteer Form

More We The People Resources