Engel v. Vitale

"Is school-sponsored prayer in public schools unconstitutional?" That is the question teams debate as they consider the arguments presented to the Supreme Court in Engel v. Vitale. The attorneys study the provided talking points and prepare arguments for both sides while remaining class members serve as jurors.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Use as a prompt for Speech and Debate clubs, as part of the study of the First Amendment, or of the rulings of the US Supreme Court
  • Have teams research the position of the current Supreme Court Justices on the question
Classroom Considerations

  • Presumes participants are familiar with debate format and have studied argumentation
Pros

  • The resource provides links to the text of the First Amendment, a case summary, the talking points, discussion questions, and a list of similar cases
Cons

  • Neither a detailed plan nor a rubric for the activity are included