Banned Books Week: Create an Interactive Classroom Display

Banned Books Week Classroom Display  www.hungergameslessons.com

Banned Books Week: Create an Interactive Classroom (or Library) Display
Banned Books Week is always one of my favorite weeks for teaching because I love the reactions my students have when they learn one of their favorite books was challenged or banned.

"What!? That can't be!"

"No way! That's so stupid!"

"No one can tell me what I can't read!"

Students who seem nonchalant and disinterested in reading all of a sudden become passionate book lovers and defenders. It is truly a glorious thing for an English teacher to witness.

So how do you incite this behavior? 

One of the things I like to do is raid my classroom library for all the books that have been banned or challenged. I then cover them up with warning labels with the reasons they were challenged.

Banned Books Week  www.hungergameslessons.com

When I first started doing this a few years ago, I placed the books in paper sacks (or covered them with whatever I could find) and taped the warning labels to the outside. Students could lift up the sacks to reveal the book.

Banned Books Week Classroom Display  www.hungergameslessons.com

Eleanor & Park Banned Books Week Classroom Display  www.hungergameslessons.com

This worked well, but some of my labels were messy or didn't have the "Caution" tape warning. So two years ago, I streamlined all of them into one bundle. You can find them HERE.

The labels can be used alone, on a paper sack, or just with a piece of paper to wrap around the book (use colored paper in a variety of colors to make them stand out).

The Hunger Games Banned Books Week Classroom Display  www.hungergameslessons.com

If you are using paper (as shown above), use a scrap piece of paper or an index card in the back to tape the two ends of the paper/label together. This serves several purposes: it makes the paper/label long enough to fit around the book, it secures the paper/label without damaging the book, and it allows the students to easily pull the paper/label up to reveal the book.

I guarantee your students will be shocked to learn of some of the reasons their favorite books have been challenged and banned.

Don't have books? No problem!
For those who don't have a classroom library, I've got you covered. My label bundle also includes an interactive display (complete with "Caution" tape) to use on a bulletin board, wall, chalkboard, or wherever you can find room. Your students won't be able to stop themselves from lifting the flaps to reveal the titles. 

Banned Books Week Classroom Display  www.hungergameslessons.com

I also made both formats with a blank template so you can type any updated or new labels directly onto the page.

The bundle also includes an activity to introduce the interactive display and begin a serious
discussion about censorship and the dangers of limiting our freedom to read.

Caution Labels and Bulletin Board Display for Banned Books Week  www.hungergameslessons.com

For more information about Banned Books Week, check out the official website by the American Library Association. It includes downloadable posters, a coloring page, lessons, and many other free resources for teachers and librarians.


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