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
- The First Amendment has two provisions concerning religion: the Establishment Clause and the Free
- Exercise Clause. Learn more about these clauses in First Amendment and religion.
- Analyze the facts and case summary for Engel v. Vitale.
- Build arguments for both sides, starting with these talking points.
- Use critical thinking skills and share reflections on the discussion questions.
- Compare Engel v. Vitale to similar cases.
How to Use These Resources
This activity is a modified Oxford style debate.
- To get started, have participants read the Engel v. Vitale facts and case summary.
- 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.
- 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.