Grade: Senior

#903. First Amendment Guarantee of Free Speech

Social Studies, level: Senior
Posted Sun Mar 21 00:28:05 PST 1999 by jeanne fraser (
Fauquier County High School, Warrenton, VA USA
Materials Required: banned books!
Activity Time: one month
Concepts Taught: Understanding of 1st Amendment of U.S. Constitution

This lesson can be used in U.S. Government, English, and/or as a collaborative lesson for the two classes.

Students receive a list of banned books from which they choose one to read. As a class we study the concepts that incite people to demand that certain books be banned: violence, language, racial discrimination, homosexuality, abortion, sex, etc. The students read their chosen book and write a paper that includes a discussion of the First Amendment and its guarantees and the reason(s) why they believe their book was banned at one time or another. Their paper concludes with a paragraph on their opinion as to the validity of the demand to ban the book from schools and/or libraries.

After writing the paper, the students present their findings to the class thus exposing their classmates to additional information not only about their book and author, but also their viewpoint on the issue of banning books.