Oh Mother, Pleeeeze Let Me Read That Book! The United States Constitution and Banned Books

Author: Pat Mitchell-Keita-Doe


Tilden Middle School

Year: 2011

Seminar: Children's Literature

Grade Level: 8

Keywords: banned, books, constitution, History, social history

School Subject(s): English, Literature, Social Studies

When I decided that I wanted to study Children’s Literature this season I thought that it would be essentially storybook studies, until I realized that anyone who writes anything could possibly run aground of the law. That’s when I understood why many authors used pen names or emigrated to other countries in order to write freely. In many countries, even today, you might be taking your life in your hands to pen a book, an article, a poem, or any other written piece that those in power consider to be in violation of the established norms of that society.

My focus has always been Social History so when I am reading the work of different authors, I always want to know what or who was impacting the author at the time the work was penned. This makes it much more interesting for me and so it is from that standpoint that I wrote my unit. It is aimed at 8th graders but can be “unpacked” for 7th grade also.

Some of the readings are, as we used to say in my day, “deep” but if you apply the strategies I have outlined for you, the information can be digested by the students.

I enjoyed researching this work and I believe the students will enjoy it too. Therefore, if you will peruse Oh Mother, Pleeeze Let Me Read That Book! The United States Constitution and Banned Books, I’m sure you will see why I decided to make the connections between our First Amendment freedoms here and now, and the lack of them under other governments or even in earlier times here.

Download Unit: 11.01.09.pdf

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