We The People State Competition Winners 2014

We The People: Hearings

The culminating activity for the We the People: The Citizen & The Constitution program is a mock congressional hearing in which students "testify" in front of a panel of judges acting as members of Congress. In addition to the simulated congressional hearings, some teachers, schools and districts choose to participate in the State and National Finals or the National Invitational. These additional learning opportunities can be exciting to many students and serve to further their understanding of the constitution and government.

Hearings

During the simulated hearings, students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles through their testimony in front of a panel of judges. The entire class, working in cooperative teams, prepares and presents statements before a panel of community representatives acting as a congressional committee. Students then answer follow-up questions posed by the committee members. They will have the opportunity to evaluate, take and defend their position on a variety of historical and contemporary issues. In addition to the hands on learning experience the hearings offer, they also serve as an effective way for teachers to evaluate their student's grasp of the material.

Upper Elementary School Hearings

Geared towards fourth thru sixth graders, the Upper Elementary School hearings have a specific set of judging guidelines. They will be asked questions related to the development of the constitution, how it organizes our government, protects our rights, and about being a responsible citizen.

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Middle School Hearings

Geared towards seventh thru ninth graders, the Middle School hearings have a specific set of judging guidelines that evaluate their understanding,responsiveness, participation, constitutional application and supporting evidence. They will be asked questions related to the development of the constitution, how it organizes our government, protects our rights, and about being a responsible citizen. Middle School Students also have the opportunity to participate in Local, District, State Competitions & The National Invitational.

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High School Hearings

Geared towards tenth thru twelth grade students, the High School hearings have a specific set of judging guidelines that evaluate their understanding,responsiveness, participation, constitutional application and supporting evidence. They will be asked questions related to the development of the constitution, how it organizes our government, protects our rights, and about being a responsible citizen. High School Students also have the opportunity to participate in District Competition, State Competition & National Finals.

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Hearing Questions

The simulated congressional hearing questions are an excellent way for students to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the Constitution and Bill of Rights and current constitutional issues.

 

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Competitions & The National Finals

In addition to the hearings that take place at the school level, many teams choose to participate in the optional Congressional District, State, and National Competitions. These competitions are a wonderful way to reward teams who have put in the hard work and effort into their We The People Projects. It provides opportunities for their parents, grandparents, neighbors and others who support them to see their hard work in action and cheer on their efforts. Consult your We the People District Coordinator for more information

National Invitational

The National Invitational takes the form of simulated congressional hearing. During the hearings groups of students testify as constitutional experts before panels of judges acting as congressional committees scoring the groups through a performance based assessment. Each class is divided into six groups based on the six units of the We the People: The Citizen & the Constitution high school and middle textbooks. Each hearing begins with a four minute opening statement by students and is followed by a six minute period of follow-up questioning during which judges probe students' depth of knowledge, understanding and their ability to apply constitutional principles. Classes have the opportunity to compete or showcase at the event. The format provides students an excellent opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of constitutional principles while providing the judges with an excellent means of assessing students' knowledge and application to historical and current constitutional issues.

High School Classes qualify to attend the National Invitational by participating in a simulated congressional hearing at the district or state levels during the 2014-15 school year.

Middle School Classes classes qualify to attend the National Invitational by participating in a simulated congressional hearing at the school, district, or state levels during the 2014-15 school year.

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Judges Resources

Thank you for volunteering to serve as a judge at a We the People hearing or competition. To a large extent the quality of a simulated congressional hearing is dependent upon the expertise and demeanor of the judges. Please review the We the People textbook(s) and resources listed at the link below. To suit local needs the We the People program allows for variations in hearing implementation at the school, congressional district, state and national levels. Therefore, procedures may differ slightly depending upon your school, congressional district, or state and the grade level. Consult your We the People District Coordinator for local procedures.

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