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Student Textbook

We the People: The Citizen & Democracy (Student Edition)

We the People: The Citizen & Democracy (Student Edition)

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About We the People

The We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students.

We the People complements the regular school curriculum by providing elementary, middle, and high school students with an innovative course of instruction on the history and principles of U.S. constitutional democracy. Print textbooks, enhanced ebooks, interactive strategies, supplemental content, and simulated congressional hearings, all make the curriculum exciting for both teachers and students.

The program enjoys active support from state bar associations and foundations, as well as other educational, business, and community organizations across the nation. Since its inception in 1987 as the principal education program of the federal Constitution’s bicentennial, more than 30 million students and 75,000 educators have participated in We the People.

Learn More

We the People is administered by the Center for Civic Education in partnership with a national network of state coordinators. The We the People website features a resource center and more information for teachers and students.

About We the People: The Citizen & Democracy

The elementary school years are the best time to help students gain a beginning understanding of the foundational ideas essential to preserving our free society.

The Center's elementary We the People: The Citizen & Democracy text for grades 3–5 can be used to increase their commitment to our nation's founding principles. Full color, and richly illustrated, the student book contains two units with 11 lessons.

Here's what your students will gain:

  • A profound understanding and reasoned commitment to the fundamental principles and values of the American democratic republic contained in the Declaration of Independence and Preamble to the Constitution of the United States.
  • A basic frame of reference for understanding democratic government and political life that will be enhanced by further learning as they progress through later grades.
  • An understanding of their rights and responsibilities.
  • Dedication to furthering the goal in the Pledge of Allegiance of our being a nation "with liberty and justice for all."

As with all levels of We the People, the textbook is supported by an online student resource center.

About the Authors

Charles N. Quigley is broadly recognized as one of civic education's most prominent curriculum, framework, and program developers. Prior to the founding of the Law in a Free Society Project of the State Bar of California in 1970, Quigley was executive director of the Committee on Civic Education, an interdisciplinary faculty committee at the University of California, Los Angeles, founded in 1965. He is also the author and editor of many textbooks, curricular materials, and articles on civic education. Quigley is the principal creator of We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution, Project Citizen, the CIVITAS Model Civic Education Curriculum Framework Project, the National Standards for Civics and Government, and the Civitas International Programs. Quigley has served as a senior consultant and organizer for numerous civic education reform efforts, including two White House conferences, four Congressional Conferences on Civic Education, and the National Commission on Civic Renewal. He was selected by the secretary of education to be the principal respondent to the NAEP Civics report in 1999. In May 2011, he and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor were selected by NAEP to respond to the release of the 2010 NAEP Civics Report.
Maria Gallo oversaw the professional development programs of the Center and managed the presentation of Center programs and curricula at conferences, both nationally and internationally. Gallo also directed the Citizens, Not Spectators voting curriculum and the annual American Civic Educator Teacher Awards.

Gallo was the national director of the School Violence Prevention Program, managing a network of program sites across the country that provided civic education to prevent school violence. She was responsible for building and standardizing staff development programs for each site and developing ongoing professional development opportunities in civic education for teachers. She also created the Training of Trainers Institute, offered each summer. Before joining the Center, Gallo was a teacher and administrator in the New York City public school system.


  • Softcover

Number of Pages

  • 141

Suggested Reading Levels

  • This book is recommended for use in grades 3-5
  • New Dale-Chall Grade Levels: 4 and Below

Edition and Year of Publication

  • First Edition
  • 2020
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