We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution

The primary goal of "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation's elementary and secondary students. What makes this program so successful is the design of its instructional program, including its innovative culminating activity.

Classroom Curriculum

The foundation of the program is the classroom curriculum. It complements the regular school curriculum by providing upper elementary, middle, and high school students with an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of constitutional democracy in the United States. The textbooks are designed for a wide range of student abilities and may be used as a supplemental text or for a full semester of study. Critical-thinking exercises, problem-solving activities, and cooperative-learning techniques help develop intellectual and participatory skills while increasing students' understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. After studying the textbook, students take a multiple-choice test and prepare for the simulated congressional hearing which is the culminating activity for the program. The entire class, working in cooperative teams, prepares and presents statements before a panel of community representatives who act as congressional committee members.

Competition

On February 3, 2016, four high schools in Utah participated in the state mock congressional hearings at the Utah State Bar Law and Justice Center, with an awards luncheon following the competition.  Judge Royal Hansen spoke to the students.  Sky View High School's class won the competition, with Mountain Crest High School placing second.  More than 1,200 high school students and their teachers, including the winning high school class in Utah participated in the We the People national finals in Washington, D.C. at the end of April.  Five junior high school classes participated in the state mock congressional hearing on February 10 at the Utah State Bar Law and Justice Center.  Judge Royal Hansen spoke to the junior high school students, as well.  Oak Canyon Junior High School was the winner, with Pleasant Grove Junior High School placing second, and West Jordan Middle School third.

The 2017 State High School We the People Competition will be held on January 9 at the Utah State Capitol.  The 2017 Junior High School We the People Competition will be held on February 8, also at the Utah State Bar Law and Justice Center.  Junior High Students will prepare for question three in each of the units.

Community members serving as judges for the High School and Junior High School State Competitions may view videos of the judging process at  http://new.civiced.org/wtp-the-program/hearings/judges-resources.

Contacts

For further information about the program, contact your Congressional District Coordinator.

  • State Coordinator: Dawn Harvey, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Congressional District One: Shanna Futral, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Andrea Thompson, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Congressional District Two: Laurie Wirz, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Congressional District Three: Darren Hawkins, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Congressional District Four: William (Bus) Gillespie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Textbooks

Five Classroom sets of the We the People. . . the Citizen and the Constitution will be awarded to teachers in each Congressional District wishing to participate this year.  Teachers should contact their Congressional District Coordinator listed above.  Classroom sets also may be purchased from the Center for Civic Education.  Its web site is www.civiced.org
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