Music Censorship Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan uses activities, an extension, quiz, and discussion questions to help your students learn about the nature of music censorship in the U.S.

Learning Objectives

Once students have made their way through this lesson plan's discussion and activities, they need to be able to:

  • Identify the law(s) that pertain to music censorship
  • Name the organizations involved in music censorship
  • Understand how (and if) the government and private organizations are able to censor music


30-60 minutes without the activity


Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 8 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


By the end of grade 8, read and comprehend history/social studies texts in the grades 6-8 text complexity band independently and proficiently.


Warm Up

  • Pose the following questions for the class:
    • Do you think some kinds of music should be censored? Why or why not?
    • How would you feel if your favorite style of music or artist was censored?


Read it together as a class and pause after each of the major sections for a discussion:

  • Pause after 'What is Music Censorship?':
    • Define censorship.
    • What are the ways by which censorship can be achieved?
    • How is music censored in the U.S.?
  • Pause after 'History and Laws':
    • Each student should share their opinion on what the First Amendment means to them and whether or not it is black and white or if there is some grey area in its wording.
  • Pause after 'The Radio Act and the FCC' section:
    • What is the role of the FCC?
    • How has the FCC censored music?
    • Discuss whether or not what the FCC does is constitutional or not based on the prior section
  • Pause after 'The PMRC' section:
    • What is the PMRC?.
    • Mini-activity: have each student take out a piece of paper and put a line down the middle. They should list the pros and cons of groups like the PMRC.
  • Pause after the 'Supreme Court Involvement':
    • What role has the Supreme Court played in music censorship?


  • Each student should take this lesson's quiz
  • Go over the questions and answers as a class

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