Tread with caution, Banned Books Week is here! From September 22-28, books that have been deemed inappropriate, challenged or previously banned will be celebrated in libraries and classrooms across the country.
Banned Books Week reminds us that censorship can still be an issue, in print or otherwise. This annual event is an opportunity for students to understand the importance of a free mind and access to information, and that some of their favorite stories may not have been available to all readers in the past.
So how can teachers and students celebrate Banned Books Week? We’ve compiled a list of classroom activities, display suggestions and more for you to use!
Have your students take mugshots while reading a banned book! This BuzzFeed article curated artwork of famous characters from banned or challenged books; you can easily pull inspiration from this in your classroom or library.
Have a fun guessing game throughout the week for your students to guess what banned book you’re quoting from. You can follow an idea from the Berkeley Public Library here, or simply write a daily quote or passage from a banned or challenged book on the board for students to guess.
Use Nearpod’s lesson on Banned Books Week to teach students about what a banned book is and why this week is so important. This interactive activity will not only inform students about particular banned books, but also get them to think critically about topics such as censorship.
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Displays are a great way to get students excited about Banned Books Week. Transform your classroom or library into a book jail or wrap caution tape around banned books. Pinterest has many display ideas for classrooms and libraries.
Build a Banned Book List
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Bridge To Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Teach Banned Books with Flocabulary
Flocabulary has several units on banned or challenged books, and are a great option to build into your discussions or lessons for Banned Books Week. Check ’em out:
Censorship of words and ideas blocks the flow of creativity. Banned Books Week can remind students and teachers of that.
Let us know what ways you’re planning on celebrated this week!