Civic Ed - Rhode Island



We the People

The Citizen and the Constitution


The primary goal of We the People... The Citizen and the Constitution is to promote civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s elementary and secondary students. What makes the program so successful is the design of its instructional program, including its innovative culminating activity.

The instructional program enhances students’ understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. At the same time, students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing in which students "testify" before a panel of judges. Students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles and have opportunities to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.

Since the inception of the We the People... program in 1987, more than 26 million students and 82 thousand educators have participated in this innovative course of study. The program enjoys the active participation of members of Congress, as well as support from professional, business, and community organizations across the nation.


The Curriculum

The foundation of the We the People... program is the classroom curriculum. It complements the regular school curriculum by providing upper elementary, middle, and high school students with an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of constitutional democracy in the United States. The We the People... textbooks are designed for a wide range of student abilities and may be used as a supplemental text or for a full semester of study.

Critical thinking exercises, problem-solving activities, and cooperative learning techniques help develop intellectual and participatory skills while increasing students’ understanding of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. The We the People... curriculum fosters attitudes that are necessary for students to participate as effective, responsible citizens. After studying the textbook, students take a multiple-choice test and prepare for the simulated congressional hearing. Upon completion of the course, they receive a certificate of achievement signed by their member of Congress or other prominent official.


We the People winners. North Smithfield HS Natalie O’Brien Teacher


To View a sample of a We The People Simulated Congressional Hearing Presentation, click the links below:

Full Presentation

Full Presentation

with Student Interviews










Contact Michael Trofi

401 - 823-1680