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Want to teach students about banned books and the perils of censorship? Try this engaging mini unit on literary censorship with regards to banned and challenged books. This unit is perfect for September as it is Banned Books Month, for a genre study, for an independent novel study, for a common literature circle theme, for book club, or for a controversial issue unit, among many other possible options.
This mini unit features engaging lessons and student-centered activities to keep students engaged and help them see the relevance of the topic:
1. A KWLS graphic organizer anticipatory activity to engage students and establish baseline understanding about censorship and banned books buzzwords
2. An editable censorship and banned books PowerPoint with links to pertinent video clips
3. A kinesthetic banned books sorting activity
4. A censorship jigsaw group activity featuring student-led discussion and research
5. An essay writing extension activity with six different prompt choices for differentiation
6. An editable letter to parents explaining the necessity and purpose of the unit
7. A suggested banned books mini-unit plan
Many students have no idea that censorship even applies to books. They don't understand that the First Amendment protects their right to read and that they have a right to Intellectual Freedom. They don't usually understand the process a book goes through to become banned or even where it is banned after a challenge has been made against it.
Let's educate our students on censorship. Whether we are for it or against it, students need to know that it's a debatable issue in our society today.
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