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High School

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution

The Program

We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution Program promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students. The We the People print textbooks' and enhanced ebooks' interactive strategies, relevant content and the simulated congressional hearing make teaching and learning exciting for both students and teachers. The We the People curriculum is an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of the United States constitutional democratic republic. The program enjoys active support from state bar associations and foundations,and other educational, professional, business, and community organizations across the nation. Since its inception in 1987, more than 30 million students and 75,000 educators have participated in the We the People program.

The Curriculum

We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution has been used to teach the fundamental concepts of American constitutional democracy to middle school students since 1988. Students learn the story behind the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights in six compelling units that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The We the People program is supported by a dedicated network of state coordinators who provide professional development and coordinate the optional simulated congressional hearings, an authentic assessment tool that allows students to demonstrate their knowledge by testifying before a panel of community members about their knowledge of our nation's history and system of government. 

The Simulated Congressional Hearings

We the People program's culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students "testify" before a panel of judges acting as members of Congress. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.

Maine South High School participates in the 2020 We the People hearings via zoom!

Are You a We the People Alumnus?

We are looking for ways to engage our former We the People participants in our program. We know there are many young people and teachers that will benefit greatly from your participation. If you would like to stay involved in the We the People program in Illinois, we would value your support. Please fill out the volunteer form and you will be contacted.  Thank you!

Click here for an overview of the program and here for a list of the curriculum.

Our Impact

  • Student Participants


  • Teachers


  • Volunteers


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