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Localizing Book Banning, 2023 Constitution Day Activity


Created by Scholastic Press Rights Director Kristin Taylor, MJE

Focus: One of the key skills of a good reporter is the ability to localize national news. This activity can be used on Constitution Day as part of a larger discussion of students’ access to information or another time as practice localizing news.

The topic: Rising instances of book bans across the United States.

Research: Remind students that the first step in localizing a national story is to do their research. You can either give them time in class or assign the research as homework. Here are some sources for initial research:

Discussion: Have students discuss their findings, separating facts from opinions in the various sources and what they learned about their own state’s laws or local news connected to book bans.

Localization: From here, students should brainstorm possible approaches to a localized version of the story. How are book bans impacting your school or community? Have any books been added or removed from your school or town library? Has the school curriculum changed or been adjusted because of pressure from the community? 

Students should engage in the normal reporting process, collecting data through surveys, seeking expert sources (librarians, curriculum specialists, town and state officials) and weaving their national research into their local reporting for a feature article or broadcast. Whether they map out a plan for an article as practice or actually create it for publication is up to adviser/editor discretion.