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Book Banning: Home

Book Banning: An Understanding


book banning /bo═Łok/ /banning/, "the practice of prohibiting or restricting the reading of certain books by the general public or by members of a local community or religious group. Books can be banned by means of their removal from publicly accessible locations (e.g, libraries), by their destruction (including the burning of printed books), or by making their authorship or distribution a punishable act."


Today we will learn about Book Banning using Gale In Context: High School.

Assignment & Discussion

Objective(s): Students will be able to identify how a book can get banned, discuss the motives behind the action, and civilly debate the pros and cons of such a decision.

Essential Question: Do you think that school libraries and classroom reading materials should be banned? Why or why not?

Day One

Think/Bell Ringer Using Mentimeter: Three reasons why a book would be banned. (2 Minutes) Submit one reason to Mentimeter:

Pair/Share: Share your three reasons why a book would be banned with your partner. (2 Minutes) Switch and find another partner. Share one reason and add your partner’s to your list. 

Research Activity: learn about Book Banning using Gale In Context: High School.

  • Open Gale In Context: High School in the Research Guides

    • Click on Browse Topics (Can Be Found Under Banner)

    • Scroll down to “Banned Books” and click to browse topic

    • Read the Overview by selecting the blue "Read More" button. 

      • Quickwrite 1: Create a timeline of book banning in the United States. Provide a source citation in MLA format.

    • Return the the main topics page "Banned Books"

      • Read The Freedom to Read (1953)  by clicking on Primary Source (Focus Reading: Reading through critical lenses)

      • Read the subheading "Commentary on The Freedom to Read" and the preceding four paragraphs. As you are reading, annotate using the "Highlight and Notes Tool" at the top right. Send your notes to OneDrive to save for future discussion.

        • Mentimeter Poll- “Do you think this document is still relevant today? Why or why not?”

        • Quickwrite 2: What reasoning does ALA give to back up their statement that "The freedom to read is essential to our democracy"?

  • Homework- Write 3 HLQ for Socratic seminar about banned books based on today’s activities.

Day Two

  • Read The Freedom to Read (1953) & Board of Education v. Pico 457 U.S. 853 continued…

    • Select the Case Overview "Island Trees Union Free School District Board of Education v. Pico [1982]".

      • Quickwrite 3: What was decided in this case? Do you agree with the Supreme Court decision? Why or why not?

  • Navigate back to the Research Guide. Click on HB 900.  What does this law require school librarians to do? How will this law impact students in Texas? Did you agree or disagree with HB 900? Why or why not?

  • Scroll to the bottom of the Topic Page and choose a related book. 

    • Write down the title and author of the book. Explain why it was banned or censored.

Writing: Quickwrites, formation of 3 HLQ

Inquiry: Research Activity using Gale Databases

Collaboration: Think-Pair-Share

Reading: Mark the text, reading research, critical reading- contrarian/critical lenses

The Freedom to Read

Top Thirteen Challenged Books

Top 13 Most Challenged Books Infographic