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Engel v. Vitale

This First Amendment activity is based on the landmark Supreme Court case Engel v. Vitale, dealing with the line between religion and public schools. Using these talking points to start the discussion, argue your position in answer to the question: Is school-sponsored prayer in public schools unconstitutional?

About These Resources

How to Use These Resources

This activity is a modified Oxford style debate.

  1. To get started, have participants read the Engel v. Vitale facts and case summary.
  2. Assign student attorneys to the issues listed in the talking points. They are suggested points– not a script–for the debate. Student attorneys are encouraged to add their own arguments.
  3. All other students are jurors who deliberate (and may refer to these talking points) during the open floor debate. They debate among themselves in the large group or smaller groups and come to a verdict after the attorneys present closing arguments.