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Real World Censorship Discussion & Research Activity


Grade Levels:
8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade and 12th Grade

Most of the instructional materials are editable.

Teaching Duration:
3-4 class periods

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In this real world censorship activity, students examine and discuss 25 censorship situations from current events. Links to news articles are provided. This lesson is sure to spark discussion and debate. It’s perfect for Banned Books Week, and high school English, library, debate, and media studies classes.

Discussing censorship can be sensitive in certain settings. Banned Books Week exists just so we can talk about censorship. The discussion is necessary, but it is also important that you know your audience and school community before doing this lesson.

Please have a look at the Preview before you buy to make sure this presentation will fit the needs of your school.

This lesson has 13 total pages and it includes:

  • Detailed lesson plan (5 pages, PDF only)
  • 8 group discussion cards (2 pages, PDF, PowerPoint and Google Slides)
  • “Is It Censorship?” activity worksheets with 25 real-world examples (5 pages, PDF, PowerPoint, and Google Slides)
  • Assignment graphic organizer: Research one of the situations. (1 page, PDF, PowerPoint, and Google Slides)

Day 1 – Group Discussion of Censorship Scenarios:

  • Group discussion cards
  • Includes 8 hypothetical questions about different kinds of censorship

Day 2 – Is It Censorship? Opinion Worksheets:

  • “Is It Censorship?” worksheet and group discussion
  • Includes 25 scenarios taken straight from current events. Students are asked to determine if the examples are censorship and whether or not they are acceptable.
  • There are five different worksheets, each with five different situations. Students can complete one worksheet, then group according to which worksheet they did.
  • All worksheets are labeled with a letter in the corner so students can group quickly by the letter of their worksheet.

Day 3-4 – Research Real Censorship News Articles:

  • Researching the real-life situations behind the scenarios on the worksheet.
  • Links are provided to news articles about all 25 current events.
  • This activity could be extended further into a class debate or a written research paper about the event.

Sample Situations:

  • 10 situations occurred outside school.
    • These are stories in global and USA news.
    • Example: A celebrity sues a newspaper for publishing unauthorized photos of her minor child.
  • 15 situations occurred at school.
    • All of these are in USA schools, but the states vary.
    • Example: At graduation, the Valedictorian’s microphone is cut off when she starts to say things that were not in her pre-approved speech.

Standards Addressed:

AASL National School Library Standards – See the AASL Standards Framework for Learners to view full text. 

  • Inquire – C.1. – D.1. – D.3.
  • Include – B.2. – C.1. – C.2. – D.1. – D.2. – D.3.

Common Core English Language Arts Standards –
© Copyright 2010 National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.1. – CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.8.6.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1. – CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.6.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1. – CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.6.

Terms of Use
© Mrs. ReaderPants – By purchasing this product, you receive a one-user license. Copying or distributing to others is prohibited.  ​See our Site Terms of Use for more information. For teacher-librarians: You may use this product with all of your classes and students.

​Questions before buying?
​If the free preview file does not answer your question, you can contact us through ​​this link with questions.


Most of the instructional materials are editable.

Grade Levels

8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade

Lesson Plan Included?


Teaching Duration

3 class periods, 4 class periods


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