We the People


 

 

photos courtesy of Dave Liggett

About We The People

We the People...The Cit­i­zen and the Con­sti­tu­tion is an in­struc­tional pro­gram for High School and Middle School students which 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

  • Students act as expert witnesses and "testify" their constitutional knowledge in the format of simulated congressional hearings. A volunteer judging panel- comprised of constitutional scholars, attorneys and policymakers- evaluate students' responses. 

Preparation

  • 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.

For more information and details about the We the People Program please contact Tim Kalgreen; 614-485-3515 or tkalgreenoclre,org


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 High School 
State Competition and Invitational
2018 


Oclrewethepeople20160122 5264

Important Dates:

Registration Deadline: Friday, December 22, 2017
Withdrawal Deadline: Friday, January 12, 2018 – no refunds after this date
2018 State Competition/Invitational: Friday, February 2, 2018
Location: The Ohio Statehouse, 1 Capitol Square, Columbus, OH 43215

 


State Competition:

  • Only classes rostered in the competition are eligible to be the state championOclrewethepeople20170127 9435
  • The state champion has the opportunity to represent Ohio at the National Finals
  • In order to be eligible for the competition, schools/teams must meet rules set forth by the Center for Civic Education, including registering an entire rostered class that has studied all six units of the curriculum

State Invitational:

  • Open to any group of students, including groups that have not studied all six units, are not a complete rostered class or otherwise need accommodation
  • While scores are earned, the Invitational is non-competitive and allows students the opportunity to participate without being ranked against other groups/classes
  • The Invitational follows the same format and will run concurrently with the state competition

Invitational participants are not eligible to advance to the National Finals


Testimonials

“We the People immerses the student in the content and develops critical thinking skills.” ~ Allison Papish, Strongsville High School

“This is a great experience and easy to incorporate into the curriculum.  It allows the students to show off their brains!  Parents who see the program are consistently impressed with the event and the support within the community grows.” ~ Andrea Oyer, Archbold High School

“This program allows students to get out of their comfort zone and really put forth the effort to make themselves look and sound presentable and knowledgeable about the U.S. Constitution.” Courtney Reiner, Ayersville High School

“It’s a great authentic assessment and your students will really grow through the process.” ~ Matthew Wunderle, Ravenna High School


Cost

$25 per team for OCLRE members
$70 per team for non-members
OCLRE membership $30 per academic year


Seeing is believing! Teachers are invited to learn more about We the People by observing the state showcase. Contact Tim Kalgreen (tkalgreenoclre.org; 614-485-3515) for more information

We the People Middle School Showcase
2018


Capture

Important Dates: 

Registration Deadline: Friday, April 13, 2018
Withdrawal Deadline: Friday, April 20, 2018 – no refunds after this date
2017 State Showcase: Friday, May 11, 2018
Location: Columbus State Community College Conference Center (315 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, OH 43215)

 


Cost

$25 per team for OCLRE members
$70 per team for non-members
OCLRE membership $30 per academic year


Seeing is believing! Teachers are invited to learn more about We the People by observing the state showcase. Contact Tim Kalgreen (tkalgreenoclre.org; 614-485-3515) for more information

Jmlp LogoWe The People: The Citizen and the Constitution
Cohort 3: 2017-2018 Academic Year 



JmlpThe pro­gram fo­cuses on the De­c­la­ra­tion of In­de­pen­dence, U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion, and Bill of Rights, its his­to­ries, un­der­pin­nings, changes, and ap­pli­ca­tion.  

Grant funding is available to help teachers learn in-depth content and time-tested pedagogy to engage students in learning about our founding documents and their importance, historically and contemporarily. 

 

 


Participating teachers will receive:

  • $500 stipend
  • Classroom set of We the People textbooks (up to $680 value)
  • 50+ hours of content and pedagogy professional development
  • Sub reimbursement
  • Travel reimbursement 

Teachers will be required to:

  • Attend a minimum of 50+ hours of professional development, to include:
    • At­tend a We the Peo­ple Sum­mer In­sti­tute July 9-13, 2017 
      at In­di­ana Uni­ver­sity (mileage, lodg­ing and food pro­vided)
    • At­tend ad­di­tional pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment workshops in Columbus dur­ing the school year;
      October 20-21, 2017 and June 1, 2018
  • Teach a minimum of 40 hours of We the People curricular instruction
  • Conduct We the People culminating activity with your students at your school 
  • Participate in Georgetown University research evaluation of the project by administering pre- and post-project assessments to students  
The Ohio Center for Law-Related Education is the designated Ohio partner joining a national, 46-state initiative to introduce the We the People program to new teachers and provide professional development to help educators teach civics, government, and American history.  OCLRE will be working closely with its counterparts in Indiana and Kentucky, forming a tri-state initiative.  This program lasts the 2017-18 academic year.  
 

Content topics include:

  • What are the philosophical and historical foundations of the American political system?
  • How did the Framers create the Constitution?
  • How has the Constitution been changed to further the ideals contained in the Declaration of Independence?
  • How have the values and principles embodied in the Constitution shaped American institutions and practices?
  • What rights does the Bill of Rights protect?
  • What challenges might face the American constitutional democracy in the 21st century?

  The James Madison Legacy Project is a national initiative that takes part in 46 states.


Additional questions, comments, or concerns about the We The People James Madison Legacy Project can be directed to Tim Kalgreen tkalgreenoclre.org or 614-485-3515

Questions

So what is We the People?
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is a critically acclaimed academic program, administered nationally by the Center for Civic Education and in Ohio by the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education (OCLRE). It consists of a curriculum to teach the history, philosophies, evolution, and application of the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and other founding documents. The program also embeds an authentic assessment, simulated Congressional hearings, to help the students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the content.

How do I get started?
We offer a professional development in the fall. If you’re unable to attend the professional development, contact us. We are happy to schedule individual assistance for you. Additionally, you can get copies of the textbooks to start learning the program. Contact the Center for Civic Education to learn more about ordering e-books or printed books.

What is a simulated Congressional hearing?
The simulated Congressional hearing is the authentic assessment that is built into the program. Students are divided into groups which correspond with the units of the textbooks. Each group prepares answers to questions based on the themes of their unit. The groups will answer the question in a four-minute oral presentation. Judges will then Q&A the students for six minutes to further gage their understanding and comprehension of the topic. Watch as P.J. Babb, teacher at West Carrollton High School, explains the simulated Congressional hearing and how to prepare for it. 

Do I need the textbooks to participate?
No, the textbook is not required because all research can be done using outside resources. However, all the questions students are asked in the simulated Congressional hearing are rooted in the We the People textbook. Using the textbook will make it easier to guide the students in their research.  

I don’t want to compete, but I want to give my students the opportunity to participate.  What are my options?
You have two options:
1)If you decide not to compete, you can still participate in the non-competitive invitational. This runs concurrent to the state competition and allows schools to participate without being compared to other classes. At the middle school level, the state showcase does not rank students first, second, third, etc., but instead all participants are awarded participatory awards.
2)If you can’t come to the state competition/showcase, you can still do the program in your classroom.  Need help setting that up? Contact Tim Kalgreen; tkalgreenoclre.org for assistance.

What if I can’t teach all the units?  Can I still participate?
Absolutely. Participating in the state showcase or invitational gives teachers the flexibility to teach the units they can get to without overwhelming the students. If you are using the hearing in your classroom, you have the flexibility to adjust to fit your students’ needs.

Are there restrictions on my students or the classes that participate?
If you are participating in the High School State Competition, an entire rostered class needs to participate. If you are participating in the state invitational or showcase, there isn’t a restriction on the make-up of your participating students. It can be an after-school group, pull out group, partial class, etc.   

Partnering with Teachers to Bring Citizenship to Life

Our Sponsors

Ohio Supreme Court      Ohio Attorney General      Ohio State Bar Association      ACLU