Beacon Lesson Plan Library

I Am a Book

Leslie Briggs
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students are encouraged to take advantage of their right to read books.


The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling;-correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and semicolons;-correct common usage, including subject/verb agreement, common noun/pronoun agreement, common possessive forms, and with a variety of sentence structures,including parallel structure; and-correct formatting.

The student uses electronic technology including databases and software to gather information and communicate new knowledge.


-I Am A Book Poem Handout
-Computer with Internet Access
-Copies of books for a display


The teacher will do the following:
1. Collects copies of books for display of challenged and banned books.
2. Prints a copy of the I Am A Book handout.
3. Prints a copy of the handout for each student or prints a transparency for students to copy.
4. Checks out web sites for current statistics on challenging and banning of books.


Day One
1. Teacher assigns the following journal topic. The topic is “Why do we, parents and teachers, want you to read? What was your favorite book in elementary school? What is your favorite book of all time?-
2. Teacher allows students to talk about the journal responses.
3. Teacher discusses his/her reading experiences. Teacher displays and reads from books that are significant to him/her. Also, the teacher discusses why the books are important.
4. Teacher reads a picture book that was a childhood favorite. Maurice Sendak’s, -Where the Wild Things Are- is great for this.
5. Teacher asks the following question: What do the BIBLE, LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, and HUCKLEBERRY FINN have in common?
6. Teacher lists student responses on the board.
7. Teacher answers the riddle: Each has been challenged or banned in the 20th century.
8. Teacher introduces students to Banned Books Week (celebrated during the last week of September and the first week of October).
9. Teacher introduces students to the reasons why books are banned, and the teacher supplies examples of texts for the reasons. Example: Cultural and Racist stereotypes and language, -Huckleberry Finn-; Parental Guidance -The Giver-, etc.
10. Students discuss First Amendment rights violation of a person’s freedom of speech and of the press.

Day Two
1. Teacher reviews and discusses information from day one.
2. Teacher introduces censorship/banning and discusses the fact that this has been going on for centuries.
3. Students view the following web site and discuss the images and quotes:
4. Teacher closes the day with the thought that any book can become a target for challenging and banning.
5. Teacher assigns I Am A Book poem.
6. Students select any book they have read previously, novel or picture book, and they write their poem about the book.
7. Teacher instructs the students to write from the perspective that the book is going to be banned.
8. Student completes the poem for homework.

Day Three
1. Students publish poems in class by reading them aloud.
2. Teacher takes up the poems and assesses the writing.


Student writings are assessed using the Scoring Guide. The scoring guide is on the same page as the poem outline.


This lesson is really great for getting student’s attention. My class discussions can get pretty intense, and the students will ask you a lot of questions. This lesson really gets my students motivated to read-especially the books which they know are banned somewhere. As a follow-up activity, you may want to show the movie -Fahrenheit 451- or, better yet, read the book.

Web Links

Web supplement for I Am a Book
American Library Association

Web supplement for I Am a Book
Humanities Interactive

Attached Files

I Am A Book.     File Extension: pdf

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