We the People

Center for the Constitution

"We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" is a nationally acclaimed government and civics curriculum that helps students understand the history and principles of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. The program is based on materials developed by the Center for Civic Education. The program is available to elementary, middle, and high school students and teachers from public and private schools anywhere in the United States. The Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier is proud to host We the People in Virginia and Washington, DC.   

As a performance assessment, students demonstrate their understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take positions and ultimately defend those positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues during a simulated congressional hearing.

Benefit of the We the People Curriculum:

  • FREE Professional Development
  • A Teacher's Network
  • Authentic Assessment Tools for Evaluating
Your Students
  • Simulated Congressional Hearing Competition
  • Endorsed by the Virginia General Assembly

Teachers new to the program are encouraged to sign up for the We the People Summer Institute held annually at James Madison's Montpelier. Applications for the Summer Institute will be accepted beginning in March, 2015. 


We the People News

Welcome to the 2014-2015 Season for the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program!

Read on to discover important information pertaining to upcoming Virginia and Washington, D.C. We the People competitions.



Regional Competitions

  • Northern Virginia Regional - December 13, 2014 - Woodgrove High School (Purcellville)
  • Southwest Virginia Regional - December 15, 2014 - Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center (Roanoke)
  • Central Virginia Regional - December 16, 2014 - The Cultural Arts Center at Glen Allen (Glen Allen)
  • Southeast Virginia Regional - December 17, 2014 - Christopher Newport University (Newport News)

Schools must compete in all six units in order to be eligible to advance to State Finals. The top 12 scoring middle school teams and top 12 scoring high school teams from across the state will be invited to attend State Finals. The state champion high school team will advance to the National We the People Competition held in Washington, D.C. in April. 

Schools may bring up to 2 classes to a Regional Competition; however, only the top scoring of the two classes will be eligible to go on to State Finals. 


Hearing Questions

State Hearing Questions for 2014-2015 

  • High School Students will be competing on Question 2 at Regionals, and Questions 1 and 3 at States.
  • Middle School Students will be competing on Question 3 at Regionals, and Questions 2 and 3 at States. 

As in previous years, both High School and Middle School students will be asked STATE LEVEL questions for both Regional and State Competitions. 


State Finals

The 2015 Virginia We the People State Finals will be held January 30–31, 2015, at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. 


District of Columbia

In-Class Competitions

We require participation in a school-wide We the People competition prior to competing in the Citywide Finals. Even if you only have one class (or one unit) that will be competing, we would like for them to hold a practice hearing before the competition. We have found this practice to be supremely beneficial to students who have not seen a competition in action.


DC Citywide Competition

High school teams must compete in all six units in order to be eligible to advance to National Finals. However, if you have a smaller team, and only wish to compete a few units, you are encouraged to have your students participate as a "showcase" team. It's still a great experience! The competition will be held February 17-18, 2015 at Georgetown University Law School.


Hearing Questions

State Hearing Questions for 2014-2015 

  • High School Students should prepare Question #1 for In-Class or In-School competitions and Question #3 for Citywide Finals. 
  • Middle School Students will be competing on Question #3 at Citywide Finals. 

Both High School and Middle School students will be asked STATE LEVEL questions at the Citywide Finals. 


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