Building Background: Banned Books Webquest

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SWBAT develop a more comprehensive understanding of the book challenges that are being brought today and will use Huck Finn as a lens to examine two sides of the argument.

Big Idea

Online research provides opportunities to collect information and evaluate sources.


45 minutes

For this lesson, we traveled to the computer lab so that students could complete a webquest. Webquests are very useful when you want students to take in a lot of information in short time. This lesson was all about building background, since my students had such limited knowledge about the history of banned and challenged books.

In a webquest, it is easy to have students look up information about a series of different, but related topics.  If you were to construct a classroom activity, you would find yourself constructing elaborate cooperative learning activities, or photocopying lots of packets.  In addition to the efficiency factor, kids also seem to like webquests better than "book" work, even if the content is exactly the same.

This webquest doesn't "exist" somewhere on the internet, but it could.  I just use the sheet (in Resources) to guide the search.

Note:  I think it's a good idea to construct webquests with two parts -- one wherein you dictate the sites they visit, and one in which they have to google and choose.  The latter is rife with challenges, and at this point in their schooling, the students need to learn about site dependability and what constitutes an "academic" source.  I do not allow the students to use Wikipedia as a source of information (Wiki is icky), but I do tell them that some articles in Wikipedia have resource lists with clickable links.