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.



State Finals

The 2015 Virginia We the People State Finals will be held January 30–31, 2015, at the Williamsburg Lodge in Williamsburg, VA. The event is open for anyone that would like to observe! 

High School State Finalists:
Douglas S. Freeman High School - Henrico
Glen Allen High School - Glen Allen
Maggie L. Walker Governor's School - Richmond
Loudoun Valley High School - Purcellville
Woodgrove High School - Purcellville
T.C. Williams  High School - Alexandria
Wakefield Country Day - Flint Hill
Brunswick High School - Lawrenceville
New Covenant School - Lynchburg

Middle School State Finalists:

Edward W. Wyatt Middle School - Emporia
Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School - Powhatan
Midlothian Middle School - Midlothian
Lucille Brown Middle School - Richmond
Glasgow Middle School - Alexandria
Luther Jackson Middle School - Falls Church
Pennington Traditional School - Manassas
Rachel Carson Middle School - Herndon
Rodney Thompson Middle School - Stafford
Princess Anne Middle School - Virginia Beach
Kemps Landing / Old Donation School - Virginia Beach


Hearing Questions

State Hearing Questions for 2014-2015 

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

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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