The Simulated Congressional Hearing

 

After studying the Constitution using "We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution" textbooks, participating classes may choose to compete in simulated congressional hearings. In a simulated congressional hearing each member of the class becomes an expert witness on one of the six units in the textbook and then testifies in small groups before a panel of judges acting as U.S. Congressional representatives. 

 

Preparing Your Class

  • 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 the unit questions selected for this year's competition.
  • Students utilize the We the People textbook, along with other primary and secondary resources, to prepare a 4-minute response to the question for each unit and to get ready to answer follow up questions.

Hearing Format

  • At each competition, every school will be assigned its own hearing room. Per the hearing schedule, judges will rotate and hear each unit's presentation.
  • When the judges enter the room, everyone should stand until the judges take their seats. The judges will then invite everyone to sit down.
  • Before the hearing starts, the judges will introduce themselves, and then the students on the unit panel should introduce themselves and their coach.
  • The judges will proceed to read the unit question aloud. When the first student starts speaking, the stopwatch starts on their 4-minute statement.
  • At the conclusion of the four minutes, the students must remove their notes and the judges are allowed to ask six minutes of follow-up questions. 
  • The judges assess the prepared oral presentation and the responses to the follow up questions using a scoring rubric. 
  • Judges score students on their understanding of the question, their constitutional application, their reasoning in answering the question, their supportive evidence with historical and contemporary examples, their responsiveness to the question, and their participation.  
  • At the end of the hearing, total scores are added up for each school competing. Teachers will receive copies of the judges' score sheets to provide feedback to students. 

Virginia 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. 

Both High School and Middle School students will be asked STATE LEVEL questions for both Regional and State Competitions. 



 

District of Columbia 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. 

 
 
2014 We the People Finals 

2014 Virginia We the People Winners

High School

1st: Maggie L. Walker Governor's School
2nd: Douglas S. Freeman High School
3rd: Woodgrove High School
4th: Brunswick High School
5th: Glen Allen HIgh School
Loudoun Valley High School
T.C. Williams High School
New Covenant Schools
Matoaca High School
Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School

Middle School

1st: Rachel Carson Middle School
2nd: Kemps Landing Magnet School
3rd: Midlothian Middle School
4th: Rodney Thompson Middle School
5th: Luther Jackson Middle School
Browne Academy
Princess Anne Middle School
Lynnhaven Middle School
Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School
St. Mary's Catholic School

2014 DC We the People Winners

High School

1st: Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy—Capitol Hill Campus
2nd: Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy—Parkside Campus
3rd: Capital City Public Charter School

Middle School

1st: National Cathedral School
2nd: Deal Middle School
3rd: DC Prep Public Charter School
Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy—Parkside Middle School
Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy—Prep Campus