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.
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
On October 10, OCLRE will be hosting a professional development to help teachers learn about We the People, how to teach the curriculum, how to integrate into your classroom, and competition logistics. Contact Tim Kalgreen (email@example.com; 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 (firstname.lastname@example.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 (tenative). 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 (email@example.com; 614-485-3515) if you need the username/password.