“Students were especially interested in issues surrounding the November 2 election,” said Dave St. Joseph's Social Studies teacher. “The tribes St. Joseph's students come from have a unique, and often complicated, relationship with State and Federal governments, so this constitutional lesson is a very important education for them.”
Throughout the fall, St. Joseph’s eighth graders have studied the US Constitution. Using a specialized curriculum called, "We the people", students learned about voting, constitutional law and the branches of government.
The unit wrapped up with a showcase, allowing St. Joseph's students to share what they’d learned with a panel of judges and audience members in a simulated congressional hearing.
“The students worked for weeks on statements they prepared to answer questions about the United States Constitution,” said Dave. “The questions afterward provided a great opportunity to put their understanding of the Constitution into their own words.”
In addition to the showcase, students held a Kids Vote event at school on this year’s election day.
"We the People" is a curriculum for students in grades 5-12 that teaches about the philosophy, history and implementation of the United States Constitution.
It was created by the Center for Civic Education and has been used by South Dakota teachers for three decades.