Banned Books Week, which takes place September 22 to 28 this year, draws attention to the issue of censorship and how it can best be combated. For a general introduction to the topic, visit the ReadWriteThink calendar entry, which links to classroom activities and online resources.
Be sure to check out the ReadWriteThink lesson plan A Case for Reading—Examining Challenged and Banned Books, which introduces students to censorship and then invites them to read a challenged book and decide for themselves what should be done with the book at their school.
For more literacy activities, check out the calendar entries, lesson plans, and classroom activities below.
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From the Calendar
- September 22: Get ready to celebrate Banned Books Week! Students brainstorm reasons why certain books might have been banned and discuss common reasons why books are challenged. (For grades 7–12)
- September 23: Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated in 1957. After viewing some footage from the actual event, students jot down thoughts and feelings of the Little Rock Nine. Students then write a bio-poem that might have been written by one of these students on this historic day. (For grades 9–12)
- September 24: F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, was born in 1896. After reading The Great Gatsby, students work in pairs, select a chapter from the novel, and rewrite it from the point of view of a different character. (For grades 9–12)
- September 26: John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, was born in 1775. Students use the Timeline Tool to organize details about Chapman’s life, the Venn Diagram to organize information, and the Shape Poems Interactive to create poems about apples or Johnny Appleseed. (For grades 3–8)
- September 27: Thomas Nast was born on this day in 1840. Students explore free speech issues, search the newspaper or Internet to create a list of current events, and draw original political cartoons. (For grades 9–12)
- September 29: Scotland Yard’s 183rd anniversary takes place today. Students explore the resources on the Scotland Yard website and compare the advice given to London's citizens to the advice available from the local police department. (For grades 9–12)
- September 30: Elie Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928. Students compare and contrast two views of the Holocaust from different authors. Students may also research stories of other survivors who may or may not be published and create a presentation on this survivor. (For grades 7–12)
- In October, find lesson plans and activities on Children’s Choices, Columbus Day, Black Poetry Day, the National Day on Writing, and more!
If you have feedback or questions about ReadWriteThink, please contact us.