Pennsylvania We the People
We The People Pennsylvania
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
Look for FREE Professional Development for upper elementary teachers
The New Jersey Center for Civic Education and the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies are working on a potential civics program for 4th to 8th grade educators from schools in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with significant poverty issues. Participating teachers will gain background knowledge and understanding about the American system of government, as well as resources and teaching strategies for promoting civic competence and responsibility among upper elementary students. The content may be integrated into a U.S. history, civics, or English language class.
Participating teachers will receive certificates for their professional development as well as free classroom sets of We the People student textbooks. We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution is a program of the Center for Civic Education in Calabasas, CA. It is coordinated by the New Jersey Center for Civic Education, in New Jersey, and the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies in Pennsylvania. We the People student texts include critical thinking exercises, problem solving activities and cooperative learning techniques and may be used to supplement U.S. history as well as ESL.
Teachers who implement the program in their classroom and participate in a research survey will receive a stipend along with the free materials and free training.
If you would like to be on the sign-up list for the training, please contact David Keller Trevaskis at [email protected] or 717-571-7414.
We the People Pennsylvania is coordinated by the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies in Pennsylvania
We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution (WTP) provides an understanding of the political philosophy underlying our Constitution and Bill of Rights and their impact in history and relevance to current-day issues. The materials include critical thinking exercises and activities and cooperative learning techniques to develop participatory skills, while increasing student knowledge of the institutions of American constitutional democracy. There is a culminating activity in the format of simulated legislative hearings with the opportunity for high school classes to compete in an annual state (and national) competition.
WTP is a program of the Center for Civic Education in Calabasas, CA. It is coordinated in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania Council for Social Studies with support from our friends at the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
The instructional program enhances the students' understanding of government and American constitutional democracy. At the same time the students discover the contemporary relevance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The culminating activity is a simulated congressional hearing (See below) in which the students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles. The students have the opportunity to evaluate, take, and defend positions on relevant historical and contemporary issues.
Independent studies reported that students who use the We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution materials outperform other students on political knowledge and philosophy and were more politically tolerant than students who use traditional textbooks and teaching approaches.
Simulated Legislative Hearings
- Congress has formed a congressional committee to examine the U.S. Constitution and the purposes of government.
- The students will prepare and testify before the simulated congressional committee as expert witnesses on the Constitution.
- Form teams: 3-6 students for each of the units.
- Each team works collaboratively to prepare answers to all the questions for the unit.
- Students review materials in the We the People textbook and research other material prepare 4-minute written responses to the questions for each unit and get ready to answer follow-up questions
- The teacher selects 3 people (other teachers, administrators, or members from the community) to serve as “legislators” or judges for each unit
Hearing (10 minutes per question)
- Teams of students orally respond to questions (notes can be used) for 4 minutes.
- members ask students follow-up questions and students respond (no notes allowed) for 6 minutes.
- Panel members assess the prepared oral presentation and the responses to the follow-up questions using the rubrics
The classroom materials are designed to be user-friendly to students with a wide range of abilities and may be used as a core or supplemental text for a full semester of study.
Critical thinking exercises, problem-solving activities, cooperative learning and simulated legislative hearings help develop intellectual and participatory skills. The materials are easily integrated into a civics, U.S. History or U.S. Government class, or as a stand-alone curriculum.
Classroom sets of We the People materials, which include 30 student textbooks and a teacher's guide, may be ordered by going to http://store.civiced.org
An ebook is now available for every level of We the People. If you are interested in considering these materials you can have free temporary access to the We the People ebook by going to http://civiced.org/resources/publications/ebooks
We the People PA is a program of the Pennsylvania Council for the Social Studies.
We the People student texts include critical thinking exercises, problem solving activities and cooperative learning techniques and may be used to supplement U.S. history as well as ESL.