Wacky Wednesday: Teaching Children about Freedom of Speech with Banned Books
I had another Wacky Wednesady teaching idea! Banned Books Week should be discussed in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Children should know that some people try to ban books from library shelves because they do not agree with the content. In the past, some books have been banned. This doesn’t happen as much anymore, but books are still challenged all the time. You can find a list of books banned or challenged on the American Library Association’s website. Your students may be shocked about some of them.
You can tie in Banned Books Week with a study of the Bill of Rights–of course, the First Amendment. How does banning books go against the First Amendment? Ask students to discuss this issue. You will also want to talk with students about the responsibility that comes with the First Amendment rights. You may also want to talk with students about their parents may not want them to read certain books, and that is fine, of course. It is a family choice, but that does not mean that the books have to be taken off the shelves.
The American Library Association website is a great resource for this week. If you have never checked out their site, you definitely should and share this information with your students. There’s no sense in me reinventing the wheel, so you should check out the Banned Books Week activities that the ALA has on their site. Even if you are reading this post once BBW is over, you can still do these activities. It’s kind of like Red Ribbon Week. We want to draw attention to the fact that books are being bannd or drugs are bad (RRW) during these special weeks, but we want to recognize this all year around–not just during this week.
If you have any other ideas or your school or library has a great celebration, please share with us here in the comments.
To see another post on Banned Books Week and an interesting discussion in the comments section, check out my post from Monday, September 28.