Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Considering Censorship (designed by Beth Day, Furman University)

Considering Censorship

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (graphic novel)

Essential Question: What is the importance of the written word to people? What are the implications of eradicating (or attempting to eradicate) the written word?

Topics:

· Relationship between language and thought

· The power of words

· Impact of written language

· Impact of TV on the written word

Teacher:

· The teacher assigns Fahrenheit 451 (graphic novel) for the class to read

· The teacher leads a series of mini-lessons on:

· slaves not allowed to read

· cultures where women are not allowed to read

· censorship in America through history

· These lessons will facilitate discussion of the interplay between those in power and what is published and the power of writing.

· The teacher leads discussions between the role of television on books, challenging students to watch no TV for a week and observe what they do with their free time in lieu of television. Teachers may want to introduce the idea of the internet and its role on books. Excerpts from a book such as The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30) may be used a conversation starter. The teacher challenges the students to consider the authors' ideas and come to their own conclusions. If they disagree, would they censor the author/s?

Student Products:

Students could choose between a variety of products, including:

· Students write an essay arguing for or against banning a book of their choice. This could be retroactive-- a student could write a letter to the society of the time that a book was banned, even if it is no longer banned.

· Students write a paper explaining why books are banned today and whether any of the instances are appropriate.

· Students write a letter to the author of The Dumbest Generation: How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future (Or, Don't Trust Anyone Under 30) to challenge or support the authors ideas.

· Students choose one book that they would memorize if all the books were to be burned and then write a paper explaining how and why they chose that book.

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