Censorship Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

Help your elementary students understand censorship with this lesson plan. It includes a text lesson, an opportunity to identify types and examples of censorship, and a short quiz.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define censorship
  • identify types of censorship
  • describe examples of censorship


This lesson will take 45 minutes.

Curriculum Standards


Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.


Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.


Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 5 topic or subject area.

Materials Needed

  • Index cards-prepared (see the end of instructions)


  • censorship
  • preventative censorship
  • self-censorship


Ask students about what kinds of things they think should and should not appear in the news. Discuss why and why not.

Read the text lesson What is Censorship? - Lesson for Kids as a class. After the ''What is Censorship?'' section, develop a class definition of censorship. Write the definition on the board and have students generate a list of things that might be censored.

Continue reading the ''Types of Censorship'' section of the lesson.

Divide the students into small groups. Have each group create a T-chart to create definitions and examples of preventative censorship and self-censorship.

Read the ''Examples of Censorship'' and ''Censorship Disagreements'' sections of the lesson.

5-minute quick write: Have students fold a paper in half. On the top half, they will write examples and reasons why censorship is sometimes necessary and on the bottom half they will write examples and reasons why censorship can be dangerous. Have students share what they have written with a partner. Provide an opportunity for partners to share their discussion items with the class.

Read the remainder of the lesson.

Divide students into 4 groups. Provide each group with a set of index cards that contain the following scenarios:

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