Book bans and challenges increased significantly across the country in 2021 and 2022. Books that address issues of race, racism and LGBTQ+ themes and characters have been particularly targeted. Discussions about what students should be allowed to read illustrate a number of intersecting current social and political debates.

Banned Books Week is a great time to raise awareness in your classroom or library about contemporary challenges to books and other educational materials. Our Banned Book Inquiry Centers can aid you in teaching about this important current social issue. These Inquiry Centers are a way to engage students in an exploratory-style lesson, designed to help students use multimedia sources to shape opinions and grow knowledge around an important topic. Students will use a class-established research question to guide their exploration. Banned Books Week Inquiry Centers will help your students understand the context shaping the evolution of debates surrounding access to books and will give them the knowledge and tools to engage in respectful, informed dialogue around this issue. This lesson is intended to address debates around books in schools and libraries as a current event.

These centers could be conducted in a classroom or library setting by teachers or librarians. 

NCAC thanks Kim Van Wyck for creating these lesson plans.