Reflection: Student Communication Examining Two Sides of the Book Banning Argument - Section 2: Opening Question


Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to read.  My parents used to take me to the library and just drop me off...and I was in heaven.  I distinctly remember getting a "star" on my paper library card, which told the librarians that I had parent permission to check out any book I wanted.  I also remember smuggling books out in my sweater (I eventually returned them, don't worry) because I had too many fines to check out any more books.  Suffice to say, books are a huge part of my life.  The thought of banning or challenging any of them makes me feel a little ill.

So, it's hard to facilitate a conversation among children who are clearly being raised differently than I was, at least when it comes to parental attitudes toward reading.

I completely understand that parents don't want their children exposed to pornography or gratuitous violence, but the kids are much more likely to encounter both of those things -- in the form of photographs, no less -- on the internet or on a friend's cell phone than they are to find them buried in the pages of a novel.

My own county had an issue with a Toni Morrison novel about 10-15 years ago.  People said the novel (Song of Solomon, I believe) was inappropriate for high school seniors to read.  Even now, on the local internet forums, parents sound off about assigned novels, claiming that they are "filthy" and "perverted." 

Really?  In the complex and layered world that our children inhabit, you think challenging a school novel by a Pulitzer and Nobel-prize winning author is holding the line on decency for future generations?

So, yeah.  I have trouble staying neutral on this topic.  But I do my best.


  Biting My Tongue
  Student Communication: Biting My Tongue
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Examining Two Sides of the Book Banning Argument

Unit 11: Censorship in 2013: Gearing up for Banned Books Week
Lesson 2 of 5

Objective: SWBAT identify claims made on two sides of an argument and begin to develop their own opinions on the subject.

Big Idea: Taking sides on an issue involves evaluating claims.

  Print Lesson
English / Language Arts, debate, analyzing arguments, books, Banned Books, censorship
  55 minutes
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